NY auditors fault oversight of squalid homeless shelters

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Auditors report finding unchecked squalor including rodents, vermin, mold and fire hazards in New York homeless shelters, faulting inadequate state oversight.

The Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance oversees 157 state-certified shelters, delegating oversight of uncertified shelters to the New York City Department of Homeless Services and to county social services departments.

Auditors visited 20 certified and 19 uncertified shelters statewide, including 26 in the city, giving operators less than 24 hours' notice.

The audit from April 2013 until last Aug. 5 says most shelters were in disrepair with filthy living conditions, some posing serious health risks.

OTDA says the audit is now dated, its policies have been revised and new regulations put in place, and it's partnering with the state, New York city and Buffalo comptrollers to examine every shelter statewide.