Shady Deals Expose Homestead's Corruption

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On December 21, 1995, Lynn Hartrick received a sweetheart deal of a lifetime. The Homestead Community Redevelopment Agency gave the city's code enforcement officer deed to an 11,000-square-foot empty lot at 136 NW First St. Selling price: A buck.

Hartrick developed a two-bedroom single story residence on the land, then sold it to the city's redevelopment authority for $135,000 in 2004. The house was demolished and the property remains vacant.

A recently completed Miami-Dade County audit reveals a bunch of questionable insider deals in Homestead, some involving the city's former mayor and one-time county manager Steve Shiver. The audit examined how the Homestead Community Redevelopment Agency spent taxpayer money set aside for creating jobs, expanding small businesses and building affordable housing projects. And the findings are utterly outrageous.
  • The CRA purchased 4.2 acres from Shiver for $1.9 million in 2007, netting him a $400,000 profit. According to the audit, the CRA paid well above market value for the land which was supposed to be used for affordable housing but remains vacant.
  • The CRA purchased 34 lots that are not buildable because they are either too small for development or located between existing buildings.
The county isn't for much to be returned. At least not yet. Just $53,000 for a bowling alley not in the district.
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