Howard Husock, writing Wednesday in the Manhattan Institute’s City Journal on five things HUD Secretary-designate Ben Carson can do right away to improve public housing and reduce government dependency:
Time Limits for Public and Voucher Housing: Sending a signal to new subsidized tenants that they shouldn’t expect lifetime housing support—to which they are entitled at present—would be the best way to change the culture of public housing. . . . Time limits also free up housing units for those who’d otherwise be stuck on a waiting list. Carson should extend the discretion to impose such limits to all 3,000 of the nation’s public-housing authorities.
Stop Work Disincentives for Subsidized Housing: Under current law, a public or subsidized housing tenant must pay 30 percent of his income in rent. That may sound like a good deal, but it means that, for every $100 that a tenant’s income increases, his rent goes up by $30. This creates an obvious disincentive to work. . . .
Privatize Management of Public-Housing Properties: There may once have been good reason for government to build low-income housing, but there’s no reason why it should also manage the properties once they’re built. . . .
End “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing”: The Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule is premised on the wrongheaded idea that the best way to encourage upward mobility among minorities is simply to relocate poor inner-city households to wealthy suburbs. The rule should be done away with. . . .
End Affordable Housing Mandates: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the secondary-mortgage market giants supervised by HUD, are charged with fulfilling the federal government’s affordable-housing mandates. They must demonstrate that large percentages of the mortgages they purchase have been made to low-income buyers or neighborhoods. These mandates contributed to the 2008 financial crisis and continue to send the wrong message to banks, which are essentially told to fulfill mortgage quotas even when loans aren’t repaid.
Dr. Ben Carson, “The United States of America is still the pinnacle nation in the world today. It is not, however, the first pinnacle nation to face a decline. Ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, Great Britain, France, and Spain all enjoyed their time at the top of the world, so to speak – in many cases, for several hundred years. Then as they decline, they all experience some peculiar similarities: an inordinate emphasis on sports and entertainment, a fixation on the lifestyles of the rich and famous, political corruption, and the loss of a moral compass.”
CLICK HERE for other brainy quotes from the Doctor.
Don’t forget the (click)worst HUD director, none other than Andrew Cuomo who was appointed by Bill Clinton. The youngest Housing and Urban Development secretary in history, made a series of decisions between 1997 and 2001 that gave birth to the country’s current crisis. He took actions that — in combination with many other factors — helped plunge Fannie and Freddie into the subprime markets without putting in place the means to monitor their increasingly risky investments. He turned the Federal Housing Administration mortgage program into a sweetheart lender with sky-high loan ceilings and no money down, and he legalized what a federal judge has branded “kickbacks” to brokers that have fueled the sale of overpriced and unsupportable loans. Three to four million families are now facing foreclosure, and Cuomo is one of the reasons why.
Excerpts from the “worst HUD” link above.
at that time indicated that the federal government was spending $55,000 a year for a woman and 1.8 children (on average) to live in HUD-subsidized private housing with welfare and food stamps in high-cost areas in a manner such that they would, and indeed could, never become taxpayers and get off the dole. Our analysis showed that the federal government was spending more per person to fund the HUD-housed poor than the annual average income of the American taxpayer who was being asked to fund the rising cost of the debt issued to pay for this.
HUD was spending $150-250,000 per unit to build Hope VI public housing while HUD-foreclosed homes that could be bought and fixed up for $50,000 were available a block away. We were paying large corporations $35-150 dollars an hour to do things that people who lived in those neighborhoods – given advances in information and telecommunications technology — could be trained to do. The implications were enormous: theoretically, at least, there was the opportunity, using more accurate place-based information, to place public finances on a sounder footing in which the tax payers’ investment returns were positive. The potential savings across the federal budget were in the billions.