Seeking Answers from HUD on Housing Dollars

WASHINGTON, D.C. – January 10, 2013 – (RealEstateRama) —  Today, Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Congressman George Holding (NC-13) sent a letter to Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan requesting answers and documentation regarding the questionable salary and compensation practices of the Raleigh Housing Authority (RHA).

Senator Grassley: “Federal tax dollars from HUD are meant to provide safe, affordable housing for people in need. At numerous housing authorities around the country, executive salaries and perks appear higher on the priority list than maintaining and providing quality housing. Some of these housing authorities have long waiting lists. HUD needs to exert more oversight to make sure housing authorities spend taxpayer dollars appropriately. As President Obama wants to help low-income Americans, he could start by making sure housing funding is spent as intended and not wasted on largess for housing authority executives.”

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Congressman Holding: “Out-of-control government spending is driving our country further and further into debt. We have to draw the line somewhere – our government cannot continue to spend as if there are no limits or consequences. The RHA’s generous salary, time-off, and compensation policies certainly raise a red flag. HUD and the RHA need to justify how this agency can fully function without its Executive Director in the office for multiple weeks a year while still paying his salary. Senator Grassley has been long been a good steward of the taxpayer dollar in his oversight of public housing authorities that receive federal funding. It is important that HUD and the RHA explain how they are spending taxpayer money – and whether there are areas where we can cut wasteful and duplicative spending.”

Background: The RHA receives a vast majority of its funds from HUD. Recent reports by the Raleigh News & Observer indicate that RHA Executive Director Steve Beam’s annual compensation is well over $280,000 and he has been granted upwards of three months off a year. On Monday, January 7, 2014, Congressman George Holding requested a federal audit of the RHA.

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