Monday, March 24, 2014

JNS Blog Receives Detailed Communication About Unforgivable Forgivable Loan Mess In Holland Neighborhood, Northeast Minneapolis...

Wikipedia creative commons image used as stock photo,
blog post by John Hoff

If JNS blog doesn't write about tempests in a neighborhood teapot, who will? OK, possibly the Hawthorne Hawkman but watch this blogger put my teeth all over the story FIRST.

A reader in the Holland Neighborhood (Northeast Minneapolis) wrote me a detailed email about a situation involving Greater Metropolitan Housing Corporation and oversight by GMHC of monies belonging to the Holland Neighborhood. After speaking to this reader at length on the phone, I am simply...

...going to print the email verbatim, leaving off the reader's name.

Other readers can judge for themselves and if further information comes my way about the situation or if there is informative commentary, then this blog post will serve its purpose.

I am sympathetic but not taking sides. I do think, however, something smells rotten in Denmark and nobody loves to investigate the cheese as much as this blogger, so here's the email, verbatim, which concerns a messy and upsetting situation with a "forgivable" loan.
I am not sure if your blog covers NE Minneapolis or this subject matter but I thought I would give it a shot.  I have run into a major problem with the Holland Forgivable Loan Program.   Somehow the forgivable loan program went over budget $12,000+ for the Holland area and still don’t have the money for two of the loans one of those loans being mine for $7,500. 
I have been waiting since August 21, 2013 for my loan to finalize.  This was a lottery and I was one of the first applicants drawn yet the money seems to be gone for my loan.  I called the Holland Neighborhood Improvement Association (HNIA)  a couple of weeks ago and was informed by Sean O’Neil me of the problems they were having and I am devastated.  The Greater Metropolitan Housing Center (GMHC) as far as I am told by the HNIA had oversight on the distribution and granting of loans and seems to have really screwed up. 
 They have been stalling about my loan stating that the HNIA hadn’t released the money and would do so soon.  First it was the first of the year then it was March 1st that this money would become available.  I was told that the HNIA had to make the money available and at one point the HNIA had voted to release the funds.   According to the Program Director, Sean O’Neil of HNIA this wasn’t true.   Mr. O’Neil didn’t sound hopeful about my getting this forgivable loan.  He did offer me a loan, a non-forgivable one but I would have to choose between loan payments and groceries.  I am 64 years old, disabled and have little money for loans. 
He said he would let me know but I haven’t heard any thing and wonder if I will.  I have already paid fees and bought materials for this project plus this took a lot of energy and time to get through the paperwork and bidding process.  Everything is hard when you don’t feel well.  I wanted to update my electrical service and get my wiring  up to code.  I am writing to you because I feel this problem needs plenty of light shined on it.
(JNS blog says: That's what I do! By the way, some paragraph breaks added by JNS blog)
Mr. O’Neil also expressed his concern over the complaints he was getting from loan applicants about the GMHC.  The majority of low income residents of this community and I would bet most of these applicants are poor not because they are malingers but disabled, old and struggling.  I fear for the way they were treated by the GMHC.  To me they represent the worst in petty bureaucracies, don’t tell the whole truth, avoid, stall and rudeness is fine with this “class” of people. 
The behavior towards applicants in a word is cold.  If you called for help you got yes or no answers, or were referred to someone else who didn’t know the answer.  The women I worked with exacted a second application fee from me after four months working with the program.  I had difficulty getting the process started initially.  I would call and was told someone would call me back but it didn’t happen.  Finally in December I was told my application has been stuck on someone’s desk because of a staff change.  When I finally got a call from them again in January somehow it was my fault that my application had been misplaced. 
To be fair I was out of town in December but I did call and inform them of that I would be gone.  Of course there were no notes in my file stating probably t because they couldn’t find the file.  I had called about my out of town visit to my sister or that I had called three to four times previously.    She let me know that she didn’t believe me and I was lucky she would still go ahead with this loan.  She said I had to pay for another filing fee since it was a new year.  I was able to keep my temper in check.  I paid it in fear of losing the loan.
I did find this in HNIA meeting minutes for December:
Home Loan Program Update: Sean reported that GMHC exceeded the Forgivable Loan Program budget by $12,338.77 without HNIA’s authorization. Adelheid will draft a letter to the NCR to express the Board’s concern regarding the issue. The HNIA board of directors and staff will look into transferring the housing loan programs to Center for Energy and the Environment. The board will reexamine alternative options at the January board meeting.
So, I wait and not hopefully after talking to Mr. O’Neil a couple of weeks ago.  No other references to this problem in any minutes for the following months.  I wrote the parent organization to the HNIA, the NCR, and never heard back.  I guess it’s typical and I shouldn’t be surprised.  I wish I had the money to ask a lawyer if I had any legal recourse.  I have tried to work with Legal Aid in the past but was disappointed but they seem to have an aversion to helping you if it involves work or actually filing a lawsuit.   I wouldn’t be surprised if I didn’t hear anything from anyone again.  They would like it if I went away.  
Sorry if this subject wasn’t in your sphere of what you blog about, but I think these agencies should at least be recognized for their incompetence in the handling of this program.  I truly hope in the future that they fire the GMHC or at least fire the people that were responsible.
Thank you,
(Name omitted by JNS blog)


Anonymous said...

GMHC has plenty of money, it might be in other pots, but gosh darn it, if this man really was one of the first lottery winners, then they need to uphold their end of the deal and fund this man's loan after all that he went through!

GMHV - move the money from somewhere else adn fund this man's loan! I bet if we took a look at their operating budget ( GMHC) we could find the $12K needed to get these two loans funded!!!!!

arrrgghhhhhh! I hope they get a lot of negative attention because of birning this to light!!!

Anonymous said...

GMHC, Greater Metropolitan Housing Corporation, Holland Forgivable Loan Program: All members of the corrupt bastards club, Minneapolis, LLC.

Anonymous said...

More government handouts. That's what's unforgivable.

Anonymous said...

Gettem Johnny boy, this women surely needs your help!

The Capt.

Anonymous said...

I don't want to be in a society that gives many thousands of dollars to folks from Chicago with many offspring that they never intended to support themselves, but have no money to help folks like this guy. What is wrong with us?

Anonymous said...

This is a sign of the times, ladie's and gentlebeast's. Fuck the people that really need help and cater to folk's that come here and screw our system and up our fucking crime rate.
This is Moneyapolis that, once again, will morph back to Murderapolis in a matter of time. Mark my word's. It is open season on the Minny apple and all asshole's submit your entries.

Anonymous said...

Wow why isn't the neighborhood group helping this person out? Unforgiveable for sure stinking thieves and no on does anything about it.
MCullen NE