Is HUD Pimping Out Unoccupied Housing To The Private Sector?

U.S. Court House and Post Office in Philadelphi
Court House and Post Office on Market Street in Philadelphia, where the fight for HUD's housing is shifting to the courts.

It’s a strange lawsuit on the face of it, Philadelphia low income housing activists taking on Marcia Fudge, the U.S. Secretary of Housing and her HUD1 army. HUD is, after all, a major fountain of funds for low and no income housing. Are these activists not biting the hand that feeds them?

One possible source of the activists’ aggressive stance is the success of Moms 4 Housing in California. Much of that success story has depended upon the support of activists when the moms in question occupied an empty home owned by a private house-flipping company2.

Things were looking quite hopeful for some Philadelphia moms this time last year. Try: Philadelphia Homeless Moms And Children Commandeer City Houses. But in this Philadelphia case, the vacant housing is owned by HUD, whose ostensible purpose is to house the homeless squatters, and has now unceremoniously booted the moms out.

How come? Well, one possibility is that HUD has made an heavy conceptual and financial investment in its RAD program3. RAD results in offloading public sector housing responsibilities to private sector shoulders, lured to do so by tax savings and other incentives.

This raises the spectre of HUD actively pimping for private sector companies by maintaining a supply of housing and land, which is unencumbered by residents, that can help grease the wheels of private sector investment.

Read more about the Philadelphia-based lawsuit against HUD at THE HILL: Activists detail legal fight against HUD for Philadelphia housing

Footnotes

  1. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
  2. Try: Evicted Oakland Squatter-Moms Buy That Vacant House — Updated
  3. Try: Should America’s RAD Be Renamed SLIT — Slum Lords In Training?

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