Dr. Ben Carson urged to address over-income public housing problem

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WASHINGTON, DC (WJHL) – Congressman Phil Roe (R), TN-District 1, and two other lawmakers are urging new U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Dr. Ben Carson to fully enforce a law meant to keep over-income families out of public housing.

In a letter sent to Dr. Carson today, Rep. Roe and two others urged him to “fully enforce newly enacted provisions from the Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act of 2016.”

Letter to HUD – Over income families

President Barack Obama signed the bi-partisan legislation into law last year. It requires housing authorities to either evict over-income families after two years or raise their rent, so people in need of emergency housing can move off of lengthy waiting lists and into homes.

A Missouri congressman filed the legislation after learning the results of a nationwide audit prompted by our Community Watchdog investigation.

“As you begin your work as Secretary, we urge you to work with public housing authorities to ensure public housing assistance is being prioritized for those most in need,” the letter said. “Families should be given the chance to get back on their feet and achieve stability, and then we should offer other needy families the chance to receive the same help– particularly when there are waitlists for public housing.”

The 2015 HUD Office of Inspector General audit, requested by Rep. Roe, found more than 25,000 families across the country that received public housing assistance yet made more than public housing income limits. Meanwhile, the OIG audit concluded more than 500,000 low-income people were stuck on waiting lists.

“A mother may be living in a car somewhere or a in sub-standard housing with a couple of kids, that’s what the housing is meant for and I want to see those folks get a shot at decent, safe housing and your story did a lot around the country to see that happen,” Rep. Roe told us.

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