City launches investigation into affordable housing nonprofit

Harlem Congregation for Community Improvement oversees thousands of apartments
November 04, 2016 12:00PM

Rendering of 260 West 153rd Street and Derek Broomes

Rendering of 260 West 153rd Street (credit: L+M) and Derek Broomes

City officials have begun investigating a nonprofit that runs affordable housing in Harlem, following the group’s own internal review.

In April, Harlem Congregations for Community Improvement (HCCI) fired its CEO and president, Derek Broomes, after the group looked into Broomes’ alleged fiduciary misconduct. The group’s chief financial officer, Maria MacLoraine, was also given the sack. The Department of Investigations has since started a probe of its own, DNAinfo reported.

An unnamed source told the news website that Broomes’ actions as president were the cause of the DOI’s ongoing investigation.

“This was pretty much one person who had a lot of control and he was able to do things he wasn’t supposed to do,” the source, who is close to the nonprofit, told the news website. “That happens when you trust one person to do their job.”

Broomes, a former chief financial officer for the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation, was paid $195,422 in the 2015 fiscal year, according to the website.

HCCI is a group of churches in Harlem that works together to develop and manage moderate-and-low-income housing with financial support from government. In its most recent federal tax filing, the nonprofit reported that it received $2 million in government funding. Property records reviewed by DNAinfo show it received $500,000 in city contracts since 2007. The group was sued by American Express and Canon Financial Services last year.

The nonprofit partnered with the Department of Housing and Preservation and L+M Development Partners to build 50 affordable housing units at 260 West 153rd Street[DNAinfo]Miriam Hall