NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

HUD: The Troubled Federal Housing Agency

June 13, 2000

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo once referred to his department as "the poster child of inept government" -- and vowed to change that image. Observers say he has made some progress in certain areas, but the department still has a long way to go.

Critics say HUD programs are rife with waste and fraud:

  • Nationwide, the average wait for those seeking subsidized housing lengthened to 11 months in 1998 -- but those looking for public housing in larger cities had to wait for 33 months.
  • HUD stands alone among cabinet departments having all its functions labeled "high risk" for waste, fraud and abuse by the General Accounting Office.
  • Because the agency could not effectively check the income levels of tenants in one of its assisted housing programs, HUD made subsidy overpayments of nearly $1 billion in 1998 -- estimated to be enough to help 150,000 families.

Source: Daniel J. Murphy, "Waste, Fraud Are Hallmarks of HUD; Politics Top Aid to Poor Say Critics," Investor's Business Daily, June 13, 2000.


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