Former Stanislaus Community Assistance Project merging with another housing agency

04/17/2014 1:18 PM

04/17/2014 5:39 PM

The Modesto nonprofit agency formerly known as SCAP will merge with another longtime housing advocacy group, it was announced Thursday.

The controversial Stanislaus Community Assistance Project changed its name, management and much of its staff in 2012 after its questionable spending practices became public.

SCAP had been given millions in taxpayer funds, which were supposed to go to help house poor and disabled county residents. But investigations found many of those public funds ended up benefiting the agency’s managers and their families.

After SCAP’s office was searched by the FBI and other government agencies, its leaders Denise and Joe Gibbs were ousted, although no formal charges have been filed in court against them.

SCAP changed its name to Community Impact Central Valley. Now the agency plans to merge with Community Housing and Shelter Services as of July 1.

Both agencies are funded almost entirely with taxpayer money from various sources.

In a news release issued Thursday, the reason for the merger was explained as being needed to become a “stronger, more stable and sustainable” organization to maintain the groups’ services “despite ongoing and challenging economic times.”

“Together, our agencies assist approximately 3,400 households annually within the communities of Stanislaus, Merced, Fresno and Tulare counties,” the announcement said. “These services continue to include, but are not limited to, hotel voucher assistance and rental assistance (security deposit, rental, utility assistance, housing counseling services, and transitional to permanent housing assistance).”

What will happen to the dozens of housing units the former SCAP had purchased with government funds was not explained in the news release, and a spokesman for the groups could not be reached by The Bee.

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