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HUD Director Goes on $336,000 Shopping Spree with Low-Income Housing Funds

AUGUST 18, 2017 A high-ranking public housing official charged with providing government-subsidized homes to the poor stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from the agency and used it to buy furniture, alcohol, clothes, makeup and other personal items. The crooked public official scammed the government for years undetected which may seem unbelievable though not when it comes to the agency she worked for, a bastion of corruption known as Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

This is an agency that’s been embroiled in a multitude of serious scandals—under both Democrat and Republican administrations—over the years. One veteran employee at a state branch stealing a few hundred thousand bucks to go on a marathon shopping spree is no biggie. Problems go back to the Ronald Reagan administration, when an influence-peddling scandal led to the conviction of 16 people, including top aides to then HUD Secretary Samuel Pierce. Bill Clinton’s housing secretary, Henry Cisneros, pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about payments to his former mistress. George W. Bush’s HUD secretary, Alphonso Jackson, was ousted after the feds launched an investigation into his plots to enrich himself and his friends by giving them lucrative government contracts. Barack Obama’s second HUD secretary, Julian Castro, misspent the agency’s federal funds as mayor of San Antonio.

Fraud and corruption has also been pervasive among HUD employees and field directors. A few years ago, an employee got busted for racking up nearly $12,000 on his agency credit card by charging personal items such as groceries, lodging, television cable, transportation and even prescription medications. A federal audit determined that the agency knew about the spending spree but didn’t bother taking action, reprimanding the employee or reporting the wrongdoing. HUD’s inspector general has also testified before Congress about the severe mismanagement at offshoots functioning independently—yet federally funded—in states across the country that have fleeced taxpayers out of hundreds of millions of dollars. He testified that his office discovered more than $200 million in questionable spending at local public housing agencies (PHAs) since 2012. PHAs are created by states, operate at the city or county level and administer the federal program known as Section 8 to provide low-income people with affordable housing. Many of these local public housing agencies are run by people with “troubled backgrounds” that somehow manage to remain in high-ranking positions at the agencies, the watchdog told lawmakers back in 2014.

Years later, an executive director at one of those branches in Michigan gets busted for embezzling $336,000. Her name is Lorena Loren and for years she served as the executive director of the St. Clair Housing Commission, which administers a local Section 8 housing program in southeast Michigan. Section 8 is the federal government’s major program for assisting very low-income families, the elderly and the disabled to afford decent, safe and sanitary housing in the private market. The program is administered locally by Public Housing Agencies (PHA) like the St. Clair Housing Commission so the cash comes from the feds though there appears to be no oversight. The idea is to subsidize housing costs, via vouchers, so the poor can live in privately owned, single-family homes, townhouses or apartments they otherwise couldn’t afford.

For eight years Loren used government credit cards as her personal piggy bank, buying items for herself and relatives, according to a federal charging document obtained by a Detroit, Michigan newspaper. She racked up around $135,000 in purchases from online retailer Amazon, $14,364 at big-box store Sam’s Club and $16,460 at various Walmart stores. The purchases included food, medicine, appliances, furniture, clothing and booze. The disgraced housing director also used $24,600 in agency funds to pay for her son’s rental unit, falsified documents—including lease agreements to use housing voucher cash to rent a home for her son—and deposited federal rental subsidy funds into family members’ bank accounts. Loren has been charged with conspiracy to commit federal program fraud and faces up to five years in prison.

Clearly, this is part of a much broader epidemic at HUD. A Michigan-area newspaper editorial blasts the agency for failing to protect taxpayer dollars and low-income families that need help. The piece cites other recent cases in which public employees stole from HUD’s Section 8 program, including a 52-person ring in Ohio and schemes in Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Colorado and Massachusetts. “It should be more difficult for housing commission directors to write checks to themselves,” the editorial states. “And the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development should be keeping closer watch over its Section 8 voucher program.” Hopefully President Trump’s new HUD secretary, Ben Carson, will clean some house at the fraud-infested agency. We don’t’ need a newspaper editorial to tell us that “HUD clearly has a gap in its fiduciary responsibility.”

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If You Make $100K a Year in This City, You Are Considered "Low Income"

"Low income" is a term that is often linked to the need for affordable housing. A low-income status means many people can receive help from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). But the latest information shows that a six-figure income can be considered “low-income” in parts of the San Francisco Bay Area.

How can a 6-figure income be considered low income?

Low income is not the same in every part of the country. That's because housing costs range widely between areas of the country and between states. The San Francisco Bay Area in California, for example, has much higher housing costs than other parts of the country and even other parts of California. According to the PayScale Cost of Living Calculator, housing costs in the Bay Area are 222 percent higher than the national average.

This helps explain by a family of four in San Francisco or San Mateo County with an income of $105,350 is considered “low income," according to HUD. Costs in general are higher in the Bay Area, in part, because of the economic climate. Unemployment is low, and 13,000 of the 19,000 jobs created in the state last month were in the Bay Area. They are successful.

Skyrocketing housing costs

On the downside, however, that success has led to skyrocketing housing costs, and not enough affordable housing available. So, HUD income limits in the Bay are the highest of any metropolitan area in the country. Where $100K is considered low income in the Bay Area, $72,000 a year in Seattle is low income for a family of four, and in Boston, low-income HUD limits are $78,000.

Read more at www.cbsnews.com/news/bay-area-100k-low-income-housing-san-francisco-san-mateo/

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Dr. Ben Carson – is a classic example of the Mis-Educated Negro and a misleader.

Publishers Corner

Clifton Harris

Publisher of The San Bernardino AMERICAN News

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Dr. Ben Carson – is a classic example of the Mis-Educated Negro and a misleader.

Carter G. Woodson said in his book, “The Mis-Education of the Negro” that “No people can go forward when the majority of those who should know better have chosen to go backward, but this is exactly what most of our misleaders do.”

By: Darwin Campbell
Author of column series “The Black Whisperer

Dr. Ben Carson – is a classic example of the Mis-Educated Negro and a misleader.

In his first speech to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Secretary Carson erred terribly when he said. “That’s what America is about, a land of dreams and opportunity,’’ he said. “There were other immigrants who came here in the bottom of slave ships, worked even longer, even harder for less. But they too had a dream that one day their sons, daughters, grandsons, granddaughters, great-grandsons, great-granddaughters, might pursue prosperity and happiness in this land.”

What planet does Dr. Carson live on?

He either is not Black or never ever studied African-American History.

The Man

Benjamin Solomon “Ben” Carson Sr. is a highly lauded and respected American neurosurgeon, author, and politician, who currently serves as the 17th and current United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, under the Trump Administration.

Allegedly an intelligent and bright man, but despite his great accolades and accomplishments and being selected HUD Secretary, the lone African-American in President Donald Trump’s cabinet has proven how uninformed and ignorant he really is when it comes to Black people, African-American history and struggles.

I have written numerous stories from the oral histories of Blacks who lived 100-years plus years for two decades, including the oral history of my own great-grandfather and great-grandmother who shared their experiences with me about the challenges they faced in America back in the day.

Many described what their parents had to do to make a living and protect them living in the racist South. – Immigrants they were most certainly not!!!

Carson’s account of Black life in America is a gross mishandling of African-American history and truly disrespectful to every Black person who lineage is linked back to the plantations in the South and slave ships that crossed the Atlantic. There is a great deal Ben doesn’t know.

He Doesn’t know Definitions

By definition an Immigrant – is a person who migrates to another country, usually for permanent residence. people who come to one country from another country, in hopes of having a better life

A Slave– is one in bondage and servitude. It is associated with and emphasizes the idea of complete ownership and control by a master. Bondage indicates a state of subjugation or captivity, often involving burdensome and degrading labor or being in bondage to a cruel master.

If Carson or others don’t understand those basics or fail to acknowledge slavery. Let’s go deeper.

He Doesn’t Understand Times & Conditions

From the writings, American Abolitionist has recorded a host of information on the typical day in the life of a slave – YOU BE THE JUDGE.

Ballin’ on the Luxurious S. S. Willie Lynch Tran-Atlantic Cruise Line

According to the International Slavery Museum, Liverpool England, slaves were captured in Africa, traded, stolen and ripped from their families and put on slave ships – far far from Carson’s description of immigrants making the choice to come to America and see America as a great land of opportunity.

Slaves were not so lucky.

Conditions on board ship during the Middle Passage were terrible and appalling.

The men were confused, gripped with fear and packed together below deck and were secured by leg irons.

The space was so cramped they were forced to crouch or lie down.

Women and children were kept in separate quarters, sometimes on deck, allowing them limited freedom of movement, but this also exposed them to violence and sexual abuse from the crew.

The air in the hold was foul and putrid. Seasickness was common and the heat was oppressive and the lack of sanitation and suffocating conditions meant there was a constant threat of disease.

The combination of disease, inadequate food, rebellion and punishment took a heavy toll on captives and crew alike.

Surviving records suggest that until the 1750s one in five Africans on board ship died.

Those who died were thrown overboard.

The Diaspora took millions of people from Western and Central Africa to different regions throughout the Americas and the Caribbean.

Happy Days at The Cracker Resort

According to the historical account, once sold, settled and located to a plantation, the typical day of a plantation slave was generally not very good.

Frankly, many different sources would describe the slave’s day as “Hell”.

The workday for a slave consisted of 15-16 hours per day; 6 days out of the week.

One aspects of a slave’s day were to experience the all-to-common “Hard Driving.”

Hard Driving was when slaveholders pushed their slaves beyond their physical abilities that were regarded as normal.

In the South, the schedule was on a continuous loop as there was no rest season.

The weather was always considered to be good enough for working. All of them were active all year round. Slaves even faced punishment many times for no reason at all.

Punishment of slaves was not just limited to physical discipline, but also consisted of sexual and mental abuse from the slaveholders.

The adult slaves were given one pound of salted cod fish every Sunday by the owner of the plantation. On special Christian holidays, slaves would receive a small amount of rum and some sugar along with possibly some pork or beef.

Slaves were issued new clothes and blankets once a year and children generally went without issued clothing until they were around 9 years of age.

The typical housing on a slave plantation were that 80-90 men, women, and children were crammed into slave quarters.

In some cases, slaves didn’t even have quarters. They lived in small, crappy huts and huddled together even sleeping on the cold, dirty ground as the huts didn’t have any flooring with one blanket.

Also, at any time, a slave men and women had no rights.

Women were raped by White men at will and Black men were sold and some were beaten and even lynched for disobedience.

Other Immigrants who have come to America have always been treated better than a Black slave stolen from their original Motherland– Whether Jews, Germans, people from Syria, Poland, The Irish, Mexicans or Muslims – All of their immigration experiences combined are nothing compared to what Blacks have endured and survived here in America!!!

Carson Talks Like an Idiot and Sounds Like a Fool

How can you equate voluntary immigration with involuntary servitude Secretary Carson!

Whoopi Goldberg was right when she responded to Carson by suggesting he at least read or watch “Roots”.

Most immigrants come here VOLUNTARILY, can’t’ really say the same about the slaves. They were stolen,” Goldberg said in a Twitter post. – She is absolutely right.

All of the information shared by my ancestors in in line with written and collected history of the Black experience in America.

Immigrant huh? Mr. Carson

Tell that to my deceased great grandmother and great grandfather, who shared with me many detailed, accurate and true stories about their experiences and their post slavery parents lives.

Shame on You Mis-educated Negro!!!

You Just Can’t Trust Mis-educated Negroes like Ben Carson and so many others like him!!!

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