HUD Audit Shows Over 25,000 High Income Earners Remain in Subsidized Housing

Hundreds of thousands of families around the country currently sit on waiting lists for HUD housing, while some families earning as much as $497,000 a year remain in their HUD homes – subsidized by you the taxpayer. According to the audit, the cost of keeping these “over income” tenants on the HUD program will cost taxpayers as much as $104 million next year alone.

I joined America Tonight on Al Jezeera America this past weekend to discuss the findings of the latest HUD report.

As I noted at the Daily Caller last week, watchdog investigators found more than 25,000 over income families who earned more than the maximum income for public housing but are still allowed to remain on the program.

Among the examples cited by WaPo:

  • New York City, New York: a family of four with an annual income of $497,911 (including nearly $800,000 of income from other rental properties they own over the past few years) who paid $1,574 a month for a three-bedroom apartment;
  • Los Angeles, California: a family of five with an annual income of $204,784 who paid $1,091 a month for a four-bedroom apartment; and
  • Oxford, Nebraska: a tenant with $1.6 million in assets who paid $300 a month for a one-bedroom apartment.
    The real issue here lies with the redetermination process and the fact that there really isn’t one. Under HUD regulations, there is no requirement for public housing tenants to resubmit income verification once they’re approved for the program. As long as the tenant remains in good standing they’re allowed to stay. This is a policy that encourages long term dependence on the government. In fact, in one instance out of California, a family who reported over $200,000 income last year has been on the program since 1974.

One might ask, what’s the purpose of having income eligibility caps and asset testing at all if it’s not going to be enforced?

Like so many other forms of welfare abuse, those taking advantage of relaxed enforcement are syphoning resources away from the truly needy. State and local legislators would be wise to authorize a comprehensive audit of their HUD, Medicaid, and food stamp (SNAP) programs to ensure that income eligibility caps and asset limits are being enforced. Until they do, there is little to no incentive for people to move off of the welfare rolls.

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