[Hpn] Fw: pazamor~* HUD's head still up its rear

cindy l carlson under_the_bridgeproject@juno.com
Tue, 19 Jun 2001 15:31:22 -0700

UTB/MONOTE: It seems that HUD still is in the wrong space in their
First off Homelessness is not about -"addiction, mental illness and
things of that nature" it is about the lack of affordable housing. And as
long as HUD continues to give the money to revitalization programs in
cities that use the funds to destroy housing and to gentrify
neighborhoods, then HUD will not be  in the business of working to end
homelessness. As long as HUD refuses to see the real issues then they
should get out of the "homeless funds" business. 
As long as HUD doesnt pay fair market rents in cities across the nation
then any homeless prevention funds they might have or certificates they
might give out are useless. As long as HUD can blame the victims rather
than look at the reasons their funded programs dont work, then they
should definately get out of the homeless prevention business.
Does anyone out there know what I am talking about? 

--------- Forwarded message ---------- 
From: "Blazing Star" <sananda@hotmail.com>
To: homelessworld@blazingstar.org
Cc: harmony@blazingstar.org
Date: Tue, 19 Jun 2001 11:19:42 -0700
Subject: pazamor~* HUD's head still up its rear
Message-ID: <F17UEM7RAluo3npvqnJ000006ca@hotmail.com>

Harmony Mailing List

The Washington Times

Shift of homeless services eyed

George Archibald

Published 6/19/01

     Housing and Urban Development Secretary Mel Martinez is negotiating
transfer the bulk of HUD´s $1.1 billion homeless program to the Health
Human Services Department.

     Mr. Martinez said at a breakfast yesterday with editors and
of The Washington Times that he and HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson have
about a proposed shift of responsibilities for the homeless, and the two 
departments have created a joint task force "to try to unravel the 
regulatory maze that now happens on issues of the homeless."

     Congress would have to approve the transfer.

     The housing department has "spent a large, large sum of money over
past 10 years on homeless issues, with very little to show for it," Mr. 
Martinez said. "The homeless population seems to be about the same as it 
was, while at the same time HUD dollars seem to go more and more towards 
services than they do towards the things that HUD does, which is housing,


     About 70 percent of HUD´s spending for the homeless is for mental 
health counseling, drug and alcohol treatment, and other services
to shelter, Mr. Martinez said.

     "Homelessness I think, by and large, is an issue of addiction,
illness and things of that nature. We really have to, at HUD, do those 
things that only HUD does. HHS can be the health provider, the care 
provider, but the only one that does shelter is HUD."

     Both secretaries are amenable to shifting homeless services,
Mr. Martinez said he prefers to have a federal partnership with
organizations to provide counseling and treatment services to homeless 
adults and children.

     "We don´t do it well, first of all. I´m not sure HHS does it well 
either, frankly, but maybe a faith-based organization would do it best of

all, frankly."

     President Bush has assigned Mr. Martinez as the administration´s
man in identifying government barriers to the president´s faith-based 
initiative. The HUD secretary said he would issue an inventory of
by the end of next month.

     "The bottom line is we are very focused" on the president´s
he said. "We´re really the lead agency on this, and we´re going to be
much pushing forward on that."

     Mr. Martinez recalled his own experience as one of 14,000 "Pedro
-- Cuban children who escaped Fidel Castro´s Cuba between December 1960
October 1962 with help from the Kennedy administration and the Catholic 
diocese in Miami, which placed him in a foster home 41/2 years before his

parents could leave the communist-controlled island.

     He said of Mr. Bush´s faith-based initiative: "It´s a program and an

idea that I very much relate to and understand because, in my own life, I

was touched by Catholic charities ... in partnership with the federal 

     The HUD secretary said he has asked congressional leaders to give
leeway to rebuild the management team and morale at HUD, which were
damaged with the appointments by his predecessor, Andrew Cuomo, of
operatives called "community builders" at HUD offices throughout the 

     The political appointments bypassed HUD´s career professionals --
good management, in my view. We´re going in a different direction," Mr. 
Martinez said.

     Some congressional leaders want prompt action on new HUD spending 
initiatives "to get more housing production going," he said. "I´m saying,

give me a year, let´s catch our breath. Before we do more, before we
more money at the problem, wouldn´t you want to know that the $30 billion

you´re already putting in here a year is being well spent?"

     A major concern is "endemic corruption" in about a dozen of the 
country´s 3,600 federally funded local housing authorities, particularly
New Orleans and Puerto Rico, the secretary said.

     "I think that there has been an attitude that boys will be boys," he

said of corrupt HUD employees, contractors and local housing officials. 
"Only a dozen or so (of local housing authorities) are chronically
but those are really bad. And so that sort of permeates the whole 
atmosphere. We need to be more vigilant about that, also expecting more
our local mayors who oftentimes get a pass on all this."

     HUD´s inspector general and a recent state audit catalogued rampant 
misspending by the New Orleans housing agency, which was unable to
for $1 million spent during the review period. Auditors also could not 
account for three months worth of taxes withheld from the paychecks of 
housing agency employees but not received by the Internal Revenue

     In Puerto Rico, prosecutors have won at least 13 indictments against

local housing officials charged with embezzling more than $2.5 million in

federal funds.

     Because of the corruption scandal, Congress blocked payment of a
million settlement won by the Puerto Rico Public Housing Authority in a 
lawsuit charging HUD had shortchanged it over the years.

     A House-Senate conference committee blocked payment in an 
appropriations measure in September until Congress received assurances
the scandal had been investigated and HUD´s inspector general had given
Puerto Rican agency a clean bill of health.

Copyright © 2001 News World Communications, Inc. All rights reserved.


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