JOHNSON CITY, TN (WJHL) –A federal review of high income families in public housing, sparked by a 2013 Community Watchdog investigation, should be complete in 45 to 60 days, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of Inspector General.
U.S. Rep. Phil Roe (R), District 1, requested the federal audit after we presented him with our findings of families living in government apartments who made between $50,000 and $80,000 across Tennessee, according to public records.
“It’s going to be a bombshell across the country,” Rep. Roe said of the completed review. “I’m happy for folks that have elevated themselves. They’ve started out here and they’re here now. That’s a good thing, not a bad thing. I’m personally very proud of them for doing that, but they need to move on.”
The review’s goal is to determine if HUD needs to update its policies and regulations for overincome residents in public housing.
Johnson City Housing Authority Executive Director Richard McClain previously told us, aside from the people who have special circumstances that keep them in public housing, those who can move out should do so.
Since then, the Public Housing Authorities Directors Association has taken a different stance, saying publicly this is not a problem. Instead, the group says high income families make up just a fraction of the government housing population.
PHADA has equated this to people making a mountain out of a mole hill. In fact, the group has pushed Congress to leave existing policies alone, because they allow for more income diversity and bring in more revenue to housing authorities.
“You really touched a nerve when you did this housing authority deal,” Rep. Roe said. “When you pull those higher paying people who are paying a lot more to stay in the housing authority, it’s creating an issue for the housing authorities in the country.”
Housing authorities previously told us they can’t legally evict people with higher incomes under current laws. Rep. Roe said he’ll be among the lawmakers pushing for legislation once the review is released.
[“source – wjhl.com”]