A new audit by the Office of Inspector General found that thousands of families exceeding the income limit for subsidized housing received subsidized rent assistance from the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
“Public housing authorities provided public housing assistance to as many as 25,226 families whose annual household income exceeded HUD’s 2014 program eligibility income limits,” the audit read. “Most of these families had earned more than the qualifying amount for more than 1 year, were not participating in programs that would allow them to reside in public housing, and occupied units while many families were waiting for public housing assistance.”
The audit also states an estimate of $104.4 million of taxpayer dollars that will be or have already been used to pay for low-income housing to individuals who have made too much money to qualify over the last year, the Washington Free Beacon reported.
According to an overview of the audit, 53 percent of all the over-income families “had income that was up to $10,000 greater than HUD’s 2014 income limits” and 47 percent had an income that was greater than the $10,000 threshold.
Numerous cases were listed as examples, including families in New York City and Los Angeles, California. According to the NYC case, one four-person family had an annual income of $497,911 but only paid $1,574 per month in rent. According to the audit, the family was not evicted because “its (HUD) policy does not require it to terminate the tenancy or evict families solely because they are overincome.”
In Los Angeles, the income for a family peaked at $132,224 but the rent for its four-bedroom apartment was $1,091. HUD again stated that its policies do not require the agency to remove persons from low-income housing even if they make too much money to qualify.
To add insult to injury, the audit found that 579,890 families remained on waiting lists for low-income housing, although more than 12,000 families that qualified were already living in an affordable apartment.