That’s what’s happening in Massachusetts, but there’s no reason to believe that it’s any better elsewhere in the country. When you’re spending other people’s money on your friends and lining your own pockets while you’re at it, are you really going to stop the music? Here’s just one example cited in this Boston Globe article:
Peabody’s former housing director resigned after TV cameras caught him spending much of the work week in local sports bars and social clubs in 2009. Nonetheless, the housing authority board let Frank Splaine stay on the payroll for five extra months, helping to boost his pension, and gave him a $27,000 severance check to boot.
Housing directors face remarkably little accountability for their work managing housing for more than 300,000 elderly and low-income people in Massachusetts, a Boston Globe investigation has found. Though the federal and state governments pump $1.2 billion a year into local housing budgets, oversight comes from local boards mainly chosen by mayors or in little-noticed elections. All too often, no one is sharply focused on how money — or time — is spent.
In the worst cases, tenants pay the price for inattentive or indifferent management, enduring leaky roofs, bad heating, rodent infestation, and other hardships.
“Housing authorities are off the books, as far as state and local scrutiny is concerned,” said Barbara Sard, a former senior policy adviser to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development now with the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a liberal think tank in Washington.
For decades, liberals have responded to exposes like this one by spending still more of the money they collect from others, convinced that the problem lies in poor governmental practices rather than the model itself. It’s not.