HUD Is A Dud According To Washington Post Investigative Report

by:  Peter J. Gallagher

According to a recently concluded, year long study by the Washington Post, HUD is dysfunctional.  The paper — which reported its findings in an article last week entitled "A Trail Of Stalled Or Abandoned HUD Projects" — " looked at "every major project currently funded under the [HOME Investment Partnerships Program], analyzing a database of 5,100 projects worth $3.2 billion, studying more than 600 satellite images and collecting information from 165 housing agencies nationwide." The study concluded that HUD "delivers billions of dollars to local housing agencies with few rules, safeguards or even a reliable way to track projects."   This, in turn, has led to "widespread misspending and delays" in the program, which was developed more  than 20 years ago to deliver decent housing to the working poor. 

While the article focuses primarily on the conditions in Washington D.C., it also discusses more systemic problems, and uses an example from Newark, New Jersey in this regard.  The article notes that two partially completed duplexes sit empty in a Newark neighborhood "blighted by boarded-up homes lost to foreclosure."  While the city paid nearly $400,000 to build the houses, the developer delayed for more than 10 years, and ultimately folded and never finished the project.  The money has not been repaid.  In response to the Post's investigation, HUD claimed that it did not need a a more robust enforcement effort to correct problems like these, and indicated that it is "focused more than ever on delayed projects and recouping money," and that the situation "will get cleaned up.”             

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