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Some Lessons from Reagan's HUD: Housing Policy and Public Service

  • Charles H. Moore and Patricia A. Hoban-Moore

There are multiple housing and community development programs involved in scandal at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The New York Times reports that “H.U.D. officials have said that at least 28 of the department's 48 programs and activities have ‘significant problems’ attributable to fraud, mismanagement, and favoritism” (August 13, 1989).

Among the most significant (in both dollar volume and public visibility) are: Section 8 Moderate Rehabilitation, Urban Development Action Grants, Title X Land Development Mortgage Insurance, Mortgage Coinsurance, sales of HUD-foreclosed properties, Retirement Service Centers, and the Secretary's Discretionary Fund. Dozens of former government officials, many from HUD, some presidential appointees and cabinet members, and Republican Party officials have profited through both consulting fees and by securing subsidies for their housing or development projects through these programs. There are now multiple congressional investigations, led by the House of Representatives Government Operations Sub-Committee on Employment and Housing (Rep. Tom Lantos, Chair) and the Committee on Banking, Finance, and Urban Affairs (Rep. Henry Gonzales, Chair). The Times reports that the Department of Justice is pursuing 600 HUD-related cases (August 13, 1989).

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Apgar, William C. Jr., and Brown, H. James. 1988. The State of the Nation's Housing: 1988. Cambridge: Harvard University Joint Center for Housing Studies.
Johnston, David. August 13, 1989. “The Many Paths of the H.U.D. Investigation.” New York Times.
Johnston, David. August 13, 1989. “There's Far To Go In Cleaning Up the H.U.D. Mess.” New York Times.
Leonard, Paul A., Dolbeare, Cushing N., and Lazere, Edward B. 1989. A Place To Call Home: The Crisis in Housing for the Poor. Washington, D.C.: Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and Low Income Housing Information Service.
National Low Income Housing Preservation Commission. 1988. Preventing the Disappearance of Low Income Housing.
Orr, Elaine L. 1989. “Facing Up to the Nation's Impending Housing Crisis.” PA Times 12 (September), 1.
U.S. Bureau of the Census and Office of Policy Development and Research. 1989. American Housing Survey, 1985. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Commerce and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
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PS: Political Science & Politics
  • ISSN: 1049-0965
  • EISSN: 1537-5935
  • URL: /core/journals/ps-political-science-and-politics
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