by Denise Simon
Clash Daily Contributor
The truth and facts are in the details but details never seem to matter or to be an agenda stopper.
Is there just one government agency that operates without a scandal or fleecing the taxpayers? Housing and Urban Development is headed by Secretary Julian Castro and former mayor of San Antonio. By the way, his name has been floated as a candidate for Hillary’s running mate to ensure to Latino vote.
Obama himself has kept a close eye on Castro and is helping him build his resume for bigger political ambitions in spite of a history of scandals based in San Antonio.
— The Department of Housing and Urban Development provided a $9.4 million loan guarantee to renovate an apartment complex here eight months after the owner convinced the county to value the complex at just $3.8 million, a Watchdog.org investigation found.
The loan for Apollo Village Apartments defaulted and the property was foreclosed on in 2012 with HUD losing as much as $4.5 million on the deal, public trustee records show.
Pete Sepp, president of the National Union of Taxpayers, said these government programs put a substantial amount of taxpayer money at risk and should be eliminated.
“Unfortunately, many government loan programs to individual business people aren’t necessarily dictated by the best interests of taxpayers or the laws of the marketplace,” he said after reviewing information Watchdog.org provided him on the loan. “It’s a classic dilemma we see with the federal subsidies programs.”
Instead of foreclosing, HUD sold the note to a private company for $5 million and the company foreclosed on the property six months later, selling the Apollo complex for $6.2 million – netting a $1.2 million profit the government could have realized to offset part of the loss, foreclosure and HUD records show.
“Apollo Village #101-11128 was insured by HUD through a 223f loan in the amount of $9,401,500.00 on March 23, 2009,” according to an email from Baumann.
The owner, represented by a Denver appraisal firm, filed a property tax appeal on May 27, 2008, and the County Board of Equalization reduced the value of the property from $7.199 million to $3.810 million on July 24, 2008, according to county records and the assessor’s office.
County records showed 36 units were condemned in 2008, and building permits for siding, roof and structural repairs were issued between 2009 and 2014.
HUD rules for market-rate apartments only allow the agency to guarantee 83.3 percent of the project’s value after the repairs are completed, which means HUD estimated the value of the repaired project to be about $11.3 million. Federal HUD officials said they did not have any appraisal information for the project, and the local office was looking to see if any documents were available …
Read the report in full here.
There is more of course:
A recent report from the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD’s) Office of Inspector General (OIG) and subsequent news articles have raised questions about the treatment of so-called “over-income” families living in federally assisted public housing. “Over-income” families had, at the time of their initial move-in, income low enough to be eligible to live in public housing (income at or below 80% of local area median income), but their incomes later increased above the eligibility threshold.
The Inspector General report found that as many as 25,226 over-income families resided in public housing in 2014 (2.6% of all public housing residents). While the majority of over-income families had incomes that exceeded the initial income eligibility limits by less than $10,000, a small subset of families had incomes that were significantly higher.
As HUD has pointed out in its response to the OIG report, allowing over-income families to remain in public housing is not inconsistent with federal law or regulations … Read the report in total here.
DENISE SIMON is the Senior Research/Intelligence Analyst for Foreign and Domestic Policy for Stand Up America US as well as the aide de camp for MAJOR GENERAL PAUL E. VALLELY, US ARMY (ret). Her weekly show delves into the very deep and murky waters of foreign and domestic issues. Each week her guests include high level Intel people, former Flag Officers, DEA, CIA, NSA, etc… You name it… http://majestic.waverstreamer.com:2418