Judicial Watch • Govt. Wastes Millions To Keep Empty Buildings

Govt. Wastes Millions To Keep Empty Buildings

Govt. Wastes Millions To Keep Empty Buildings

MARCH 30, 2010

 

In a perplexing case of government waste, hundreds of millions of dollars are being spent to maintain dilapidated empty buildings throughout the nation, including prime capitol-area real estate that’s been vacant for nearly a decade.

The deserted and often hazardous government-owned structures sit mostly uninhabited throughout the country, including Washington D.C. A major news organization visited several and revealed how they’re draining valuable taxpayer resources in the midst of a financial crisis.

Among the decaying buildings is a huge, taxpayer-owned structure in the heart of Washington D.C., within view of the U.S. Capitol. Officially known as Federal Building Number 8, the property stretches an entire city block and is worth around $100 million but Uncle Sam is losing money because the building isn’t habitable and has been empty since 2002.

In  Milwaukee Wisconsin, the government dishes out $348,000 a year to maintain a crumbling Veterans Administration complex located upon a sunny hilltop. In Maywood Illinois, not far from Chicago, taxpayers own a decrepit 58,000 square-foot Veterans Affairs complex that’s been empty for more than a decade and a half. In Kansas City a dead body was found in an abandoned courthouse not too long ago.

Most of the buildings are under the supervision of the General Services Administration, which is responsible for managing and preserving government buildings and leasing commercial real estate. The agency promotes itself as a prime example of excellence in the business of government and claims its policies promote efficient government operations.

Its inefficiency is nothing new however, and has been documented in various government audits in recent years. In fact, the investigative arm of Congress, the Government Accountability Office, published a scathing report a few years ago detailing the exorbitant cost maintaining 927 vacant or underutilized properties throughout the country. The facilities, according to the GAO report, represented about 32.1 million square feet and ranged from office buildings to hospitals and post offices.


 

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