State and HUD reach consensus on way forward for RISE program

7/11/2018

CHARLESTON, WV– Gov. Jim Justice said today that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has issued its recommendations and guidance to the State of West Virginia on how to proceed forward with contracts related to the RISE flood recovery program.
 
“Since identifying significant deficiencies in the execution of the RISE Program and the appointment of Major General James Hoyer to oversee the program, the Governor’s office and the General's management team have been in constant communication with HUD,” Gov. Justice said. “This is to ensure the proper execution of the program and that it is done in the most expeditious manner based on federal and state requirements. HUD has now issued its recommendation and guidance on the initial contracts issued under Commerce.
 
“My staff, the Department of Commerce, and the General have developed a course of action to make certain the program moves forward as new contracts are put in place to serve those West Virginia families still in need,” Gov. Justice added. “As of today, there are 130 homes in the construction management process. From the HUD guidance issued today, we estimate that 66 of those homes in the construction phase can be completed under the existing contracts. The remainder of the work will be done under new contracts and other means such as sub-grants. This allows for construction work to continue and cases to be loaded into the construction management process while new contracts go through the process for award.
 
“I have directed Gen. Hoyer to ensure that processes and procedures are established and carried out in an expeditious fashion for the housing program so that it proceeds uninterrupted during this transition phase,” Gov. Justice stated. “In addition, he has advised the staff to shore up other portions of the action plan and continue to be open and transparent with those families potentially affected by this change through the process.”
 
“This will no doubt make it more challenging as we move forward because it takes time to initiate new contracts,” said Maj. Gen. Hoyer.  “But, it does not stop us from moving forward. The Guard was given the mission to assist Commerce in getting this program on track and overcoming obstacles and that is what we will do.”
 
“The ultimate goal moving forward from the issuance of this letter is to expedite, with deliberate speed, the new procurements for contracts of project management and housing rehabilitation and reconstruction,” Maj. Gen. Hoyer said. “In regard to the current project management contract, HUD has asked us to limit the use of existing contracts and to begin transitioning over to using state employees that are trained and qualified to perform some of this work.”
 
It is anticipated that this transition will take place and be completed within the next 30 to 90 days.


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