The Obama Administration has given a former director at the scandal-plagued Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) nearly half a billion dollars to offer “struggling” Illinois homeowners mortgage assistance, a Judicial Watch investigation has found.
It means the ACORN official (Joe McGavin) will go from operating a corrupt leftist community group that’s banned by Congress from receiving federal funding to controlling over $445 million in U.S. taxpayer funds. The money is part of a $7.6 billion Treasury Department program to help the “unemployed or substantially underemployed” make their mortgage payments.
In this case, JW found that a subcomponent of the state-run Illinois Housing Development Authority, known as the Illinois Hardest Hit Program, received a generous $445,603,557 Treasury infusion. The Obama Administration established Hardest Hit in 2010 to provide targeted aid to families in states hit hardest by the economic and housing market downturn, according to its website.
In early 2011 McGavin was appointed as director of Hardest Hit. Before that he was director of counseling for ACORN Housing in Chicago and operations manager for a Chicago ACORN offshoot called Affordable Housing Centers of America (AHCOA). His strong ties to ACORN make him a suspect candidate to handle such a huge amount of taxpayer dollars.
The Obama-tied community organization supposedly shut down after a series of exposés about its illegal activities, including fraudulent voter registration drives and involvement in the housing market meltdown. Read all about it in Judicial Watch’s special report, “The Rebranding of ACORN.” The legal scandals led Congress to pass a 2009 law banning federal funding for ACORN, which for years enjoyed a huge flow of taxpayer dollars to promote its various leftwing causes.
The Obama Administration has violated the congressional ACORN funding ban, however. Last summer Judicial Watch uncovered records that show ACORN got tens of thousands of dollars in grants to “combat housing and lending discrimination.” The money came via Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which awarded a $79,819 grant to AHCOA.
In addition to violating the ACORN funding ban, the grant was astounding because federal investigators had previously exposed fraud by the same Florida-based ACORN/AHCOA affiliate. HUD’s inspector general found that the group “inappropriately” spent more than $3.2 million in grants that were supposed to be used to eliminate lead poisoning in its housing program.