MaineOpenGov.org, a MHPC website that shows the pay of state employees, has been updated and expanded to show five years of salary and benefits data for employees of the Maine State Housing Authority.
The data from Maine Housing was provided in response to a Freedom of Access Act request made by The Maine Heritage Policy Center. The data shows that in the past five calendar years (2005 to 2010), total payroll and benefits costs of Maine State Housing Authority employees grew by 30%, from $7.1 million in 2005 to $9.4 million in 2010.
The executive director of Maine State Housing Authority, Dale McCormick, took over as head of MSHA in 2005.
“We’re excited to add another, brand new set of payroll data to MaineOpenGov.org,” said Sam Adolphsen, director of Open Government at MHPC. “The Maine State Housing Authority handles a great deal of public money, and it is responsible for providing critical services for our most vulnerable citizens. It’s vital that their operations are transparent, and that they are accountable to taxpayers for how they spend those public funds. This is particularly important at a time when 6,500 of our fellow Mainers find themselves on the waiting list for affordable housing.”
Other key findings from the MSHA payroll data include:
Over the same time period (2005 to 2010), Maine State Housing Authority Payrolls have more than doubled the total payroll increases at the Maine Turnpike Authority, Maine state government and the University of Maine System total payrolls.
The number of employees earning more than $100,000 in total compensation more than doubled, from seven employees in 2005 to 17 in 2010.
“Administration” payroll costs increased by 61% from 2005 to 2010.
Payroll for “Asset Management” has jumped from $1.3 million in 2005 to $2 million in 2010, up 60% in five years.
This updated data release comes at a time when Maine State Housing Authority is being questioned for the cost of public housing projects around the state. The original Freedom of Access Act request that MHPC made asked for much more data than is currently presented on MaineOpenGov.org.
Maine State Housing Authority has said that they cannot provide individual salary data before 2005, and they have yet to release to MHPC their vendor payments spending information.
“This data is key to helping shed a light on the operations of the Maine State Housing Authority,” said Adolphsen. “While there are still many questions to be answered about the high cost of ‘affordable’ housing projects at MSHA, this data shows very clearly that cost containment hasn’t been a strength for MSHA, at least in the past half-decade. While the payrolls have been growing at MSHA, so has the waiting list of Maine folks trying to get into affordable housing—that just isn’t right.”