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Sunshine Inc. under scrutiny in Warren

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WARREN, Ohio- An agency that helps low-income families get housing is under scrutiny in Trumbull County.

Warren city officials want to know why Sunshine Inc. is delinquent on property taxes they were supposed to pay to the county on behalf of local residents.  Now those residents are fearful their homes could face foreclosure as a result.

Warren City Council met with the director of Sunshine Inc. in an effort to find out why his non-profit organization was delinquent in paying about $188,000 in property taxes and fees.

Sunshine was created in 1993 as an organization that would use taxpayer money to re-hab homes and help people with low incomes buy them.

Recently, however, some of these homes were in such bad shape they had to be condemned and can't be re-sold.  People that live in the homes that have been re-habbed pay Sunshine a monthly fee to cover the mortgage, insurances and taxes.

Sunshine director Anthony Ianucci says he hasn't been able to pay all the taxes because of a lack of funds. But he says none of the occupied homes will face foreclosure. 

"We've met a couple of times with the county treasurer the county auditor to work toward a payment plan that will pay them down over time," Ianucci said.

So how did it come to this?

"There was so much debt when this program was started. When you're paying mortgages and costs of vacant properties that aren't productive they're a drain on ones that are, Iannucci said.

Councilman Al Novak says he's pushing for a thorough audit of Sunshine. 

"The money they are receding that's HUD money taxpayer dollars so the taxpayers have a right as does council and city administration we need to know what's going on," Novak said.

Novak says Iannucci has not provided any information to council since he took over Sunshine that would have indicated they were in trouble and he says council now wants to know where all of it's money is going.

"We know they are billing from wrap from sunshine and the parking program, From Mr. Iannucci, legal fees and auditing fees, administrative fees and wages on top. We have no idea how much that is," Novak said.

Novak says he already has four council members on board for an audit. It's not known how long the audit would take.
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