IAHF defends deal
This week, as the Island Affordable Housing Fund fundraises to meet its obligations to supply rental housing subsidy funds and trims its own staff and budget, it responded to critics of its financial management.
Among the criticisms is a charge of self-dealing by a member of its volunteer board, in connection with the purchase of the Bradley Square property in Oak Bluffs, whose development plans are now in jeopardy.
This week, board chairman Candace daRosa, defended her part in the 2007 sale of the property for the Bradley Square affordable housing development. Ms. daRosa, a real estate agent, represented the fund in the purchase of the property for $905,000. A Century 21 broker was the listing broker.
The commission fee on the sale was four percent, or $36,200, which was paid by the seller, Ms. daRosa explained. That fee was split among the two brokers and the two real estate companies involved in the transaction. Ms. daRosa said her share of the commission was $9,050, and said that she donated about one-third of that back to the fund.
Ms. daRosa said because she complied with the board's bylaws, and the board was fully informed of her role, she did not consider it a conflict of interest.
"When I represent a buyer I owe them fiduciary responsibility," Ms. daRosa said. "I have to put their needs and desires above my own."
Ms. daRosa said because of the criticisms that have been raised since the revelation last fall that the Fund would fail to meet its obligations to the Island rental housing subsidy program, she would not handle the transaction the same way today. She is currently the listing broker for the sale of a home owned by the fund in the Jenney Way development in Edgartown, but she said that she and her company will not accept a commission on the sale and that the attorney who will handle the closing is donating his services.