There is a family current living in New York City government (aka taxpayer-funded) housing that has an annual income above the low-income threshold of $67,000. So how much over the limit are they? $10,000? $20,000?
Try $433,000! That’s right — the breadwinners in this household pull down nearly half a millions dollars a year. But the housing authority refuses to kick them out.
The family is being permitted to stay because, according to a recent Office of Public and Indian Housing report, the New York City Housing Authority concluded that other low-income residents will see the family’s success as a form of motivation to achieve greater things.
The Authority believes that allowing overincome families to reside in public housing is beneficial because it shows that participation in the public housing program can help families achieve a more stable life and the average rent paid by overincome families is greater than that paid by other low income families.
According to the report, the head of the household owned real estate that produced more than $790,000 in rental income between 2009 and 2013. As of July 2014, the family paid just $1,573 for its 3-bedroom apartment because the authority isn’t required to terminate leases of families because they make more than the income requirement.
This is just one examples of the more than 25,000 families whose income exceeded HUD’s 2014 income limits, but were still housed in government subsidized units.
Another family in Los Angeles has been living in public housing since 1974, and has been over income since at least May 2011, according to the report. As of June 2014, the family of five was bringing in an annual income of more than $200,000. The low-income threshold is just $70,450.
A single retired person in Oxford, Neb., has been a tenant in the city’s public housing since 2005. As of April 2014, he had personal assets valued at nearly $1.6 million: almost 50 times the low-income threshold of $33,500.
As of April 2014 this individual was paying a flat rent of $300 a month . The authority didn’t evict him, according to the report, because he was income-eligible at admission and hadn’t violated the lease agreement.
HUD is supposed to remove families who exceed its income limits from government subsidized housing and help the families find other housing options. Instead, the agency was keeping ineligible families in low-cost housing and potentially leaving thousands of families who need help to fend for themselves.
“We estimate that HUD will pay as much as $104.4 million over the next year for public housing units occupied by overincome families that otherwise could have been used to house eligible low-income families in need of housing assistance,” the report said.
The authors of the report concluded that HUD needs to enact policies to reduce the number of over income families in public housing and use the money saved to better use by helping those that actually need it.
This report, by Josh Fatzick, was cross-posted by arrangement with the Daily Caller News Foundation.