AUGUST 21, 2009
The scandal-plagued government agency that oversees housing spends more than $12 million a year to illegally provide homes to thousands of lifetime registered sex offenders, many convicted of raping children.
Although Congress banned federally subsidized housing for serious sex offenders more than a decade ago, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) still gives the taxpayer-financed perk to about 3,000 serious sex offenders banned by federal law from receiving it.
The criminals benefitting from the perk have all been convicted of serious felonies, including rape, sexual assault and lewd or lascivious acts and many of the victims were children. The enraging details of how valuable tax dollars are illegally spent to help criminals was made public in a lengthy HUD Inspector General report published this week.
HUD’s negligence is enormous, according to investigators, who reveal the agency doesn’t bother monitoring applicants or checking a readily available national sex offender registry when it certifies the eligibility of residents. Congress banned government subsidized housing for serious sex offenders in 1997 after a convicted sex offender molested a 9-year-old girl who lived in his public housing building.
Scandal at HUD, a cabinet-level agency that strives to increases access to affordable housing, is hardly a novelty. George W. Bush’s corrupt HUD Secretary (Alphonso Jackson) was ousted for awarding millions in agency contracts to friends who gave him kickbacks on the deals and Bill Clinton’s HUD Secretary (Henry Cisneros) pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about payments to his former mistress. Ronald Reagan’s HUD Secretary (Samuel Pierce) was also embroiled in an influence-peddling scandal that led to the conviction of some of his top aides.
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