HUD Scandals: Howling Headlines and Silent Fiascoes

Mention the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the word scandal comes to mind. When it comes to recent history, the association is quite accurate; in 1989-90 congressional panels were investigating abuses, favoritism, and mismanagement at HUD; in 1954 HUD's predecessor, the Federal Housing Administration, was targeted by the FBI for involvement in fraudulent home-improvement schemes; in the 1970s HUD was scrutinized for lax lending standards, blatant overappraisals, and shoddy housing. In this ground-breaking volume, Irving Welfeld, a senior analyst with HUD, describes and explains these sensational episodes as well as a series of hidden blunders that have cost taxpayers billions of dollars.In this thorough, firsthand account, Welfeld provides not only soundly documented history, but analyses of events that arrive at different interpretations than Congress reached in its investigations. Throughout, his readings ask hard and probing questions: Where were the overseers - the media, Congress, the General Accounting Office, the Office of Management and Budget? To what extent is poor management the root cause of HUD's failures? Will tighter regulation help in keeping out corruption?After his comprehensive survey of the scene, Welfeld goes the final step and offers solutions: a set of programs that would minimize secrecy on the part of federal administrators and the temptation to abuse the public trust. Most importantly, the programs outlined here will enable HUD to more effectively fulfill its mission to see that there is decent affordable housing for all Americans. HUD Scandals will be of interest to scholars of public administration, political scientists, and analysts of housing issues.