• Congress Wants Answers After Feds Let Millionaire Live In Public Housing

    A member of Congress is demanding answers after a scathing report showed more than 25,000 families are being allowed to live in public housing even though they do not meet income limitations.

    Rep. David Jolly sent letters to the head of Housing and Urban Development, Julian Castro, and Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, who chairs the House Appropriations subcommittee, which oversees HUD, asking for an explanation.

    “Every American taxpayer deserves to know that their tax dollars are used for those rightfully in need of assistance, and not irresponsibly squandered by subsidizing those in the highest income brackets,” Jolly wrote.

    The report released by the HUD watchdog last month showed that one family in New York City was bringing home nearly $500,000 annually, but was still allowed to stay in government subsidized housing.

    In fact, HUD management thought it was beneficial to keep them there.

    “The Authority believes that allowing overincome families to reside in public housing is beneficial because it shows that participation in the public housing program can help families achieve a more stable life and the average rent paid by overincome families is greater than that paid by other low income families,” the report reads.

    In another instance, a single retired person in Oxford, Neb., had been a tenant in the city’s public housing since 2005. As of April 2014, that person had personal assets valued at nearly $1.6 million, which is almost 50 times the low-income threshold of $33,500. They paid just $300 per month to live in subsidized housing.

    Jolly cited rising costs of housing programs and the scarcity of available units to pressure the housing agency into changing policies and personnel.

    “With an ever-growing waitlist for housing assistance from those truly in need, these incidences of waste, fraud and abuse must be eliminated immediately. It is time to clean house at HUD,” Jolly said.

    The report estimated that HUD will spend more than $100 million over the next year to subsidize housing for people who don’t meet the income requirements.

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