Public Disclosure of Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program
The City of North Miami owns several units through the Neighborhood Stabilization Programs (NSP) available to the public for rental. Those units are available to low and moderate income families for renting below the fair market rate when they become vacant.
The City has received an application from Maryse L. Benjamin, an income eligible applicant and an employee at the City, working in the capacity of Clean Team worker for the North Miami Code Compliance Department’s Sanitation Division to participate in the Neighborhood Stabilization Program. The Federal Government’s Code of Federal Regulations, 24 CFR Section 570.611 states that:
“(b) Conflicts Prohibited: The general rule is that no "persons covered" (below) who exercise or have exercised any functions or responsibilities with respect to CDBG activities assisted under this part, or who are in a position to participate in a decision-making process or gain inside information with regard to such activities, may obtain a financial interest or benefit from a CDBG-assisted activity, or have a financial interest in any contract, subcontract, or agreement with respect to a CDBG-assisted activity, or with respect to the proceeds of the CDBG-assisted activity, either for themselves or those with whom they have business or immediate family ties, during their tenure or for one year thereafter.”
“(c) Persons Covered: The conflict of interest provisions of this section apply to any person who is an employee, agent, consultant, officer, or elected official or appointed official of the recipient, or of any designated public agencies, or of sub recipients that are receiving funds under this part. It should be noted that typically an exception can be granted by the field office for employees of an organization who have no oversight or control of the grant, for instance an administrative assistant.
Exception: The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) may grant an exception to these provisions and allow Ms. Maryse L. Benjamin to receive assistance from the NSP Program, providing the City publicly discloses the nature of the potential conflict in addition to retrieving an opinion from the City Attorney that the interest(s) for which we are seeking the exception is not in violation of State or Local law.
The potential conflict of interest in this case arises from the fact that Ms. Maryse L. Benjamin is an employee of the City of North Miami Code Enforcement Department’s Sanitation Division, and the City is a recipient of CDBG funding from HUD.
The City Attorney’s Office has reviewed all documentation for this application and issued a legal opinion regarding the potential conflict(s) of interest. In their opinion, the application of Ms. Maryse L. Benjamin does not violate State or local law or any City administrative policies.
Public Comment: Residents are encouraged to review the complete opinion and provide written comments. Copies of the opinion are available for review at the Housing & Social Services Satellite office located at 13753 NW 7th Avenue, North Miami Florida 33168 and at the North Miami public library located at 835 NE 132nd Street, North Miami, FL 33161 during regular business hours, Monday to Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. during the 10-day period to commence on April 12, 2022 and will end on April 21, 2022. Comments may be submitted to the Housing & Social Services Department by mail, in person, or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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