Tuesday, July 26, 2011

HUD IG Wants Philly Removed from Moving to Work Program; HUD Says No.

Philly.com has story HERE saying that HUD IG has recommended on several occasions that the Philadelphia Housing Authority be removed from the HUD Moving to Work Program but HUD program officials have declined to do so: (The Philadelphia PHA Director Carl Green [Wikipedia] has been removed from office for misconduct).
Peter Kovar, an assistant secretary at HUD, said PHA's conduct under Greene should not be the basis "for a current decision to alter [its] status."

Kovar noted that the agency was now under HUD's direct control. It has appointed a new top administrator, Michael P. Kelly, who reports to a one-woman board: Estelle Richman, HUD's chief operating officer.

Jereon Brown, a HUD spokesman, said he agreed "that there were serious concerns" at PHA but added that HUD was still trying to "restore financial order and soundness before returning it to local control."

"We believe the PHA is on the road to redemption," Brown said. "That does not mean that we are going to cease our efforts to uncover what has occurred because we believe that's essential to put in place the fixes that ensure that the things that were done improperly do not occur again.

"We're seeking to fix, not punish," Brown said. With Kelly on board, Brown said HUD was "on track" to return PHA to local control within a year.
Editorial Comment: The political and practical implications of removing MTW status make it highly unlikely for a large PHA like Philly, but in essence isn't that just a HUD version of "Too big to fail"? 

Originally created and posted on the Oregon Housing Blog.

1 comment:

  1. You're right that there should be a process for removing MTW authority from HAs that aren't using it effectively.

    However, it may be that Philly is using it properly and the problems there are unrelated or at least parallel to the MTW status. Even if they were using the audit waivers under MTW to hide corruption or poor performance, they're certainly being monitored now regardless of MTW. If they're using MTW to use funds more effectively and implement successful programs, why should that all be stopped because of an audit problem that is being corrected in another way? I don't know if that's true, I'm just speaking hypothetically.