In theoretical terms, Team Gahan can do better than a damn dining room table, don't you think?
Did HUD really need to spend $31,000 of taxpayer money on that dining furniture for Ben Carson?, by Kevin McCoy (USA TODAY)
Let's say you're a Trump administration official with old dining room furniture in your Washington, D.C. executive suite. What do you do?
In the case of Ben Carson, the presidential cabinet secretary who heads the Department of Housing and Urban Development, his staff declared the circa 1967 dining set was beyond repair and spent $31,561 on a custom hardwood table, chairs, and a hutch to replace it.
A federal law limits spending for redecorating or refurbishing to $5,000 unless Congress approves more. However, whistleblower complaints filed by Helen Foster, a high-ranking HUD civil servant, allege that a top official repeatedly told Foster to "find money," for the purchase.
Foster's complaints charge that Carson's wife, Candy, wanted to help redecorate the office suite. Foster was demoted in reprisal after she raised questions about the work and other HUD spending, the complaints allege.
Glad I'm back home?
Coincidentally, we recently received the following press release via e-mail. I'm not sure who to thank for placing us on the mailing list, but satire surely benefits from proper fertilizer.
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development – Ben Carson, Secretary
Office of Public Affairs, Washington, DC 20410
HUD No. 18-015 FOR RELEASE
Gina Rodriguez Tuesday
firstname.lastname@example.org February 20, 2018
HUD AWARDS NEARLY $621,000 TO PROMOTE JOBS, SELF-SUFFICIENCY
FOR PUBLIC HOUSING RESIDENTS IN INDIANA
INDIANAPOLIS – In an effort to help low-income residents become self-sufficient, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today awarded $620,786 to three public housing authorities in Indiana as part of the $34.9 million awarded nationally to public housing authorities or their resident associations, Native American tribes, and non-profit organizations across the nation to hire or retain service coordinators to help them find jobs, educational opportunities, and achieve economic and housing independence (see list below).
The funding, provided through HUD’s Resident Opportunities and Self Sufficiency – Service Coordinators Program (ROSS-SC) helps grantees hire or retain "service coordinators" who work directly with residents to assess their needs and connect them with education, job training and placement programs, and/or computer and financial literacy services available in their community to promote self-sufficiency.
“It’s part of our mission to help connect public housing residents to better, higher paying jobs and critical services as a means of helping them move beyond public assistance and toward self-sufficiency,” said HUD Secretary Ben Carson. “This funding gives our local partners resources they can use to help residents become economically independent and achieve the dreams they have for themselves and their children.”
“This funding will facilitate educational and economic opportunities to help residents along in their trajectory towards self-sufficiency and success,” said HUD Midwest Regional Administrator, Joseph P. Galvan.
The purpose of HUD’s ROSS-SC program is to encourage innovative and locally driven strategies that link public housing assistance with public and private resources to enable HUD-assisted families to increase earned income; reduce or eliminate their need for welfare assistance; and promote economic independence and housing self-sufficiency. These grants provide funding to hire and retain Service Coordinators who will assess the needs of residents of conventional Public Housing or Indian housing and coordinate available resources in the community to meet those needs. In addition, ROSS-SC grants help improve living conditions for seniors, enabling them to age-in-place.
HUD's mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all.More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov andhttp://espanol.hud.gov. You can also connect with HUD on social media or sign up for news alerts on HUD's Email List.
You can follow Secretary Carson on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Fiscal Year 2017 ROSS-Service Coordinator Grants
Housing Authority of the City of Kokomo $190,395
New Albany Housing Authority $246,000
Housing Authority of the City of Bloomington $184,391
Indiana Total: $620,786