NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

HUD: "Poster Child Of Failed Government"

February 25, 1999

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is widely viewed as one of the more inept federal agencies. Nevertheless, President Clinton wants a $2.5 billion increase in its budget -- bringing its total to $28 billion for fiscal year 2000.

Critics say HUD is a "poster child of failed government." And they think it is a scandal that the agency may receive more taxpayer dollars.

  • Even though crime has fallen in most cities, HUD's housing projects continue to see crime rates five to 10 times higher than the national average.
  • With HUD paying up to $1,802 a month for welfare recipients to live on Massachusetts' swank Nantucket Island and $1,584 a month to live in upscale Stamford, Conn., Clinton wants money for another 100,000 rent- subsidy vouchers.
  • Housing authorities reportedly make little or no effort to check on the income of recipients of Section 8 rental vouchers, once the recipients have qualified -- resulting in a loss of some $900 million a year.
  • Observers report that violence and property damage done by Section 8 voucher clients have sparked political controversies in many areas.

For example, the Kansas City Star (Mo.) reports that "in some neighborhoods a single Section 8 house can significantly drag down property values."

Sen. Phil Gramm (R-Texas), the new chairman of the Senate subcommittee that oversees HUD activities, says he plans to investigate vigorously federal housing program abuses.

Source: James Bovard, "The Latest HUD Scandal? More Tax Dollars," Investor's Business Daily, February 25, 1999.


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