Money

Seattle Woman Gets Welfare; Lives in Million Dollar House

| by Reason Foundation

By Seth McKelvey

Seattle's KING 5 News has uncovered a novel use of welfare dollars: $1,200 a month in housing vouchers for a woman living in a $1.2 million, 2,500 square foot house:

Records show she has received welfare benefits while living in the plush home since 2003. Records also show she truthfully provided her address when she applied for benefits.

How could the government allow housing subsidy dollars to someone who openly lives in one of Seattle’s most desirable neighborhoods?

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A federal official spoke to KING 5 News on condition of anonymity. He says the housing voucher program provides coupons that help low-income people pay their rent. He says it allows people to get out of housing projects and move into the place of their choosing. However, he says a “flaw” is that the program doesn’t analyze where people are living, even if it is at a ritzy address that should raise a red flag.

The woman also receives disability checks and food stamps. Her husband, a chiropractor, drives a Jaguar. Officials suspect he posed as the woman's landlord when she applied for the benefits. KING 5 is not naming the couple as they have yet to be criminally charged, though federal agents have raided the house.

Reason on welfare.