Advice on housing assistance

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raddy1
New Member
Posts: 8
Joined: Sun May 22, 2016 1:11 pm

Advice on housing assistance

Postby raddy1 » Mon Jun 04, 2018 2:02 pm

I've been in the clerk's office for a couple of years with 2 Bishops. 1st as Ward Assistant Clerk, then Financial Clerk, then Ward Assistant Clerk again, and now Ward Clerk. I have been asked to write 2 separate checks to the same landlord for housing assistance. I cut the checks as the Bishop said it was an emergency. Each check is at the limit of the Bishop's spending authority. The beneficiarys each live at the same residence, according to the Bishop. We have the lease agreement on file naming one of the beneficiarys. I'm not sure what to do in this case. I feel this is putting me in an uncomfortable position. I don't understand why the Bishop doesn't just contact the Stake President and get authority to exceed his spending limit and have me cut just 1 check. The area where we live is extremely expensive and you couldn't rent a shed in someones backyard for the amount of the Bishops spending limit. I honestly feel sick to my stomach to even be talking about this.

davesudweeks
Senior Member
Posts: 934
Joined: Sun May 09, 2010 8:16 pm
Location: Oklahoma, USA

Re: Advice on housing assistance

Postby davesudweeks » Mon Jun 04, 2018 3:09 pm

If the rent checks are for two different families, cutting two separate checks may be acceptable as they are for different Fast Offering recipients. I don't know your situation, but you could discuss with your stake clerk for guidance.

We have used a lease agreement but always make a copy to put with each expense. It is no fun in the financial audit when you tell the auditor, "yah, we have a lease agreement for this expense somewhere..." We try to get a receipt from the landlord if we can, even if we have a copy of the lease agreement. Usually they will give one if asked.

raddy1
New Member
Posts: 8
Joined: Sun May 22, 2016 1:11 pm

Re: Advice on housing assistance

Postby raddy1 » Mon Jun 04, 2018 4:09 pm

Thank you for your reply. We do file the lease agreements so they are easily found. I'm worried that we will get dinged on an audit because the lease agreement is written to only one beneficiary. Maybe the Bishop could write a letter explaining the situation that I could attach to the lease. Do you think a printout of all the HOHs living at that address and attached to the lease agreement would be acceptable? Perhaps with a breakdown of each HOH's portion of the rent? There are many multiple family households living in a single dwelling in this area due to the cost of housing.

davesudweeks
Senior Member
Posts: 934
Joined: Sun May 09, 2010 8:16 pm
Location: Oklahoma, USA

Re: Advice on housing assistance

Postby davesudweeks » Mon Jun 04, 2018 8:36 pm

Your stake auditor should be aware of the housing situation so it may not even come up. If I was in that situation and it did come up, I would pull up MLS during the audit and show the auditor there are 2 households sharing the same residence, which explains the 2 rent checks with a single lease agreement. Having a lease agreement without the name of the tenant being used as documentation for a rent check could be a sticking point so a note from the bishop may be useful. But since the bishop is supposed to be available for questions during the audit, he could always explain that to the auditor. It would not hurt to discuss your concerns with your bishop and/or your stake clerk - we are all just members here trying to help each other with technical questions whereas they have stewardship over your situation.

The bishop is responsible for the finances of the ward. Any exceptions during the audit are the bishop's responsibility to ensure they are resolved (with assistance by the clerk). As ward clerk, I try to never have an exception in an audit, but if one occurs we just work to get it corrected and avoid that mistake in the future.

raddy1
New Member
Posts: 8
Joined: Sun May 22, 2016 1:11 pm

Re: Advice on housing assistance

Postby raddy1 » Mon Jun 04, 2018 10:50 pm

Thank you for your thoughtful reply. I think I will attach the supporting documents, with a note from the Bishop explaining the situation. I think you are right that the stake should be familiar with the living arrangements that far too many members are forced to endure in this area. Unfortunately, it is only getting worse.


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