Aug 18, 2015 -- Hey New York City, there's a family of four that makes close to half a million dollars a year — and lives in your public housing at $1,574 a month, .
It turns out that there's a low-income threshold to be admitted to public housing. But once you're in, you're in. You don't get kicked out if your income grows.
HUD doesn't necessarily see any problem with this (although the watchdog does).
Over in Los Angeles, one family of five makes $205,000 a year and pays $1,100 in rent for subsidized housing. The family was admitted to the program in 1974 and has been overincome since at least 2011.
How can this be?
The watchdog for the Housing and Urban Development Department found that about 25,000 families in public housing now earn more than the income limits for program eligibility, at a HUD expense of more than $100 million a year. Nearly half of them exceed the limits by more than $10,000 a year. Eighteen thousand of the over-income families had been overincome for more than a year.
In a sample of 15 public housing authorities, about 12,500 families were overincome while 580,000 eligible families awaited a vacancy.
In the New York case, the New York Housing Authority told the inspector general that it didn't evict the family earning $497,911 from its three-bedroom unit "because its policy does not require it to terminate the tenancy or evict families solely because they are over-income. The Authority believes that allowing over-income families to reside in public housing is beneficial because it shows that participation in the public housing program can help families achieve a more stable life and the average rent paid by over-income families is greater than that paid by other low income families."
In the L.A. case, the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles told the watchdog it didn't evict the family from its four-bedroom unit "because its policy does not require it to evict over-income families because HUD regulations don’t require it. The Authority claimed that evicting over-income families would work against HUD’s efforts to deconcentrate poverty in public housing developments."
Nationwide, about 1.1 million families live in HUD public housing units.
(based on a article in the Washington Post)