Last month the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awarded nearly 5 million dollars in taxpayer-funded grants to 15 organizations through its “Tenant Resource Network”; which, according to the HUD website:
“make[s] grants to qualified nonprofit organizations to assist, inform, educate and engage tenants living in certain Section 8-assisted properties at risk of losing affordability protections or project-based rental assistance.”
In other words, taxpayers are not only being forced to fund Section 8 housing for “low-income” tenants, but they are also being forced to subsidize efforts which ensure a steady stream of taxpayer dollars will continue to be poured into the program, even as the federal government regularly runs an annual deficit of over $1 trillion dollars.
These grants came under fire for waste and abuse nearly ten years ago and were subsequently squelched until June of this year when HUD unveiled them again as a so-called “new” initiative. Apparently the department has forgotten the 2003 HUD Office of the Inspector General findings in the Semi Annual Report to Congress, which noted that ineligible recipients received funds and funds were misdirected to lobbying efforts:
“In our grantee audit report we identified $600,000 of ineligible costs and over $1.6 million of unsupported costs. In addition, nine grantees used a portion of their Section 514 funds for lobbying activities directed at Congress…”
This is simply another example of an irresponsible federal government attempting to fix a problem by creating several more, and putting taxpayers on the hook to pay for its newfangled social welfare programs while recklessly adding to the nation’s already disastrous deficit.
On a brighter note, Congresswoman Diane Black (R-TN), has been working to eliminate this wasteful abuse of our hard-earned dollars, and has sponsored a bill called the Stop Tenant Organizing Promotion Act (STOP Act), which fiscal conservatives can support via the YouCut Initiative which could save taxpayers $100 million dollars over ten years.
It’s not going to fix the deficit, but it’s certainly not chump change to those of us who have to earn a living.