By Stuart Hirsch
The Herald Bulletin
ANDERSON, Ind. —
City community development officials Friday appointed a new administrator to oversee federal Housing and Neighborhood Development programs.
Tonya Turnley was a Community Development Home Specialist in Evansville for eight years before joining the Anderson Community Development Department.
Turnley is a graduate of Indiana State University where she studied social work, according to a city news release.
“Ms. Turnley came highly recommended by those she served during her tenure in Evansville,” said Floyd Edwards, deputy director for Community Development. “Her knowledge and experience coupled with Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) certification gave her the advantage over all other applicants.”
The community development department has been in rebuilding mode since last March when an internal investigation showed that federal money was used to house employees’ family members.
The department’s only three full-time workers were fired because they didn’t follow the appropriate conflict-of-interest procedures.
There were at least five documented cases where employee relatives lived in HUD homes. Housing and urban development officials in Indianapolis are continuing to investigate the case, Edwards said. It’s not clear when that inquiry will be complete, however.
Anderson receives about $1.1 million annually in federal Community Development Block Grant and housing funds, Edwards said.
Under its reorganization, community development will no longer administer housing funds, which account for about $300,000 of that total.
Those services, which include home buyer assistance programs, will be handled by PathStone and staff in the Madison County Council of Governments, Edwards said.
PathStone is a nonprofit community development and human services organization that provides services to low-income families and economically depressed communities in Indiana and other states.
“We’re striving very hard to provide a service to the community want to make sure that people have no hesitation about using our services,” Edwards said.
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