SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – A federal agency is investigating a nonprofit started by the interim director of the Spartanburg Housing Authority for allegedly failing to pay back more than $1 million.
According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the non-profit in question is Community Development and Improvement Corporation or CDIC. The nonprofit was started by Reginal Barner before he took over as head of the Spartanburg Housing Authority.
“I thank God I am living here,” said a woman who’s lived at Archibald Rutledge in Spartanburg.
The apartment complex is one of 10 properties managed by the Spartanburg Housing Authority under Reginal Barner’s leadership. Barner was hired in September 2018, after retiring as head of the Aiken Housing Authority.
Shortly after taking the job, HUD launched an investigation into two organizations connected to Barner.
In March, HUD sent a letter to the Aiken Housing Authority demanding it end its partnership with CDIC – Barner’s nonprofit.
According to HUD, the Aken Housing Authority had an agreement to maintain low-income communities that CDIC manages. At the end of every month, CDIC had to pay back the expenses.
In 2017, while Barner served as head of the Aiken Housing Authority and was the registered agent of CDIC, a HUD review revealed the non-profit owed $606,628 dollars.
By 2018, that amount grew to $1,118,058 dollars.
“I do feel like he should pay it back if we find out he owes it,” said Kenneth Hughes, a tenant of Archibald Rutledge Hi-Rise.
HUD says the cash is still unaccounted for.
“How would you go about finding it,” said another tenant.
7News reached out to the Housing Authority and was told the only person who could comment was Board Chairman Matthew Myers. 7News reached out to Myers but has not heard back.
A spokesperson for HUD sent 7News this statement:
“HUD’s Office of Public Housing has referred the Aiken Housing Authority (AHA) to HUD’s Departmental Enforcement Center (DEC) for review. However, this is not an investigation of Reginald Barner per se, but rather a review of AHA compliance. We are not aware of any investigations that are tied to Mr. Barner’s work at the Spartanburg Housing Authority. “