WASHINGTON – (RealEstateRama) — Sen. Chuck Grassley is asking the Department of Housing and Urban Development to explain its policies for allowing wanted fugitive felons to live in public housing after a report suggested the agency takes a weaker approach than federal law requires.
“It is essential that the Federal Government ensures the safety and security of public housing residents against fugitive felons and other such predators,” Grassley wrote to Secretary Julian Castro.
Grassley cited a news report that referred to an unreleased HUD Inspector General (IG) report from 2012 that documented 1,300 “felony fugitives” living in public housing in one HUD region alone.
Administrators at the public housing authorities where the felons resided reportedly told the IG investigators that “HUD had informed them that it was a PHA’s discretion as to whether or not to terminate the fugitive felons from the HUD funded program.”
However, Grassley wrote, Congress included a provision in the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (Public Law 104-193), which requires the immediate termination of any wanted fugitive felons, as well as probation and parole violators in federally subsidized housing.
Grassley asked a series a questions to obtain a greater understanding of the problem at public housing authorities across the country, as well as why the inspector general’s office apparently chose not to release the report in question.
Grassley has a long record of holding the federal government and housing authorities accountable for the billions of tax dollars meant to provide safe, affordable housing for those in need.
Grassley’s letter is available here.