Controller says NTI was poorly run

    Former mayor John Street touted the anti-blight, Neighborhood Transformation Initiative, as the hallmark of his administration.

    Former Mayor John Street touted the anti-blight, Neighborhood Transformation Initiative, as the hallmark of his administration. But Philadelphia City Controller says the program was poorly managed.
    Caption: Philadelphia City Controller Alan Butkovitz

    Listen:
    [audio: 091014spnti.mp3]

    The Neighborhood Transformation Initiative was a $300 million dollar program designed to rid the city’s streets of crumbling, abandoned buildings and encourage redevelopment. But an audit released by the Controller’s office reports the city, under the Street Administration, left $13 million dollars in outstanding bills for about 1500 properties. In total, about 4500 buildings were razed. City Controller Alan Butkovitz says Street, along with those in charge of the NTI office and the redevelopment authority, did not adequately manage the funds.

    Butkovitz: There were failures at the top of all those agencies. These were pretty fundamental kinds of accounting procedures. The underlying documentation was not reflected in the kind of centralized record keeping.

    Current Mayor Michael Nutter froze the funds last year pending the investigation. Former Mayor John Street declined to comment on the audit.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.