Ch. 2 Investigation: $100,000 incomes & living in public housing

By Jace Larson - Investigative Reporter

Some families living in public housing made more than $100,000 and the government does not plan to ask them to move out.
 
One family made $137,000 and paid $786 a month in rent for the family of four to live in a two bedroom place in public housing. Another family of two made $130,000 and paid $554 a month.
 
The families make significantly more money than would be allowed to qualify for public housing at the time of move in. Both of these families moved out of public housing this fall.
 
A policy analyst for the Houston Housing Authority says it's an efficient use of taxpayer dollars to allow a family making that much money to live in public housing because they pay additional rent and thus the government has to kick in less money than it would for a family making little money.
 
"This is actually the most efficient use of taxpayer money because it actually saves the tax payer money. When the higher income families pay higher rent it decreases the burden on federal subsidies we get," Brian Gage, Senior Policy Advisor for the Houston Housing Authority.
 
The wait list is about 23,000 people long in Houston.
 
"There is simply not enough affordable housing in Houston," Gage said.
 
The Housing and Urban Development's office of Inspector General did an audit this year and found Texas has the third most people living in public housing who make more than the allowed amount on move in.
 
The numbers by state are as follows:
 
Overincome Families Residing in Public Housing Units Nationwide
1  New York  10,903
2  Puerto Rico  1,219
3  Texas  1,056
4  Alabama  811
5  New Jersey  755
6  Pennsylvania  750
7  Louisiana  682
8  Georgia  666
9  Illinois  637
10  Massachusetts  621
11  Kentucky  571
12  Tennessee  545
13  California  505
14  North Carolina  405
15  Ohio  384
16  Missouri  366
17  Mississippi  341
18  Arkansas  332
19  Florida  297
20  Oklahoma  288
21  Michigan  243
22  South Carolina  243
23  Minnesota  229
24  Wisconsin  213
25  Indiana  172
26  Virgin Islands  160
27  Nebraska  157
28  Maryland  156
29  Kansas  152
30  Virginia  147
31  Connecticut  144
32  West Virginia  140
33  New Mexico  98
34  Rhode Island  87
35  Iowa  85
36  Washington  81
37  North Dakota  70
38  Washington, DC  69
39  Arizona  60
40  Maine  60
41  Colorado  54
42  Oregon  50
43  Montana  33
44  Alaska  27
45  New Hampshire  25
46  Vermont  25
47  Nevada  24
48  Delaware  20
49  Hawaii  20
50  South Dakota  17
51  Wyoming  13
52  Idaho  11
53  Utah  7
Total  25,226

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