The federal government will soon send more than $300 million in stimulus funds to 61 housing agencies that have been repeatedly faulted by auditors for mishandling government aid, a USA TODAY review has found.
The money is part of a $4 billion effort to create jobs by fixing public housing projects that have fallen into disrepair. Recipients include housing authorities in 26 states that auditors have cited for problems ranging from poor bookkeeping to money that was spent improperly, according to the review of summaries the agencies must file with the federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
The government has promised to closely monitor how the agencies spend the money. Still, some watchdog groups are concerned. "I think taxpayers are going to have to steel themselves to hear that a lot of this money has gone down the tubes," says Leslie Paige of Citizens Against Government Waste.