Problems at the DuPage Housing Authority

As part of a story about corruption at the DuPage Housing Authority, the Chicago Tribune provides an update on the recent history of the organization:

But investigators have asked plenty of questions lately about how DuPage housing officials spend the $22 million in federal funds they get annually.

Since 2009, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has audited the DuPage Housing Authority three times, concluding the troubled agency violated numerous federal regulations and must pay back $10.75 million in misused tax money.

HUD has determined DuPage must repay that money to its Section 8 housing program because it didn’t allow competition for projects, failed to properly document whether many tenants were eligible to get subsidized rent, made inappropriate credit card purchases and, in some cases, overpaid benefits.

This is not a whole lot of federal money, particularly in a county with a population over 900,000 and a poverty rate of around 6% (this site has 2009 figures of a poverty rate of 6.5% and the 2008 Census had an estimate of 5.8%). But the DuPage Housing Authority has an interesting history. If I remember correctly from research I have done, the group was formed in the 1940s and had some federal money to work with. But by the early 1970s, the Housing Authority had not built any units within the county and HOPE, an organization now in Wheaton, sued the county for housing discrimination, primarily for exclusionary zoning practices. The court case, Hope v. County of DuPage (the 1983 version here), lasted for over a decade and here is a brief summary of the conclusion in a law textbook.  It is only within recent decades that the Housing Authority has developed units.

This is perhaps not too unusual considering the political conservatism of a county that has been solidly Republican since the the 1860s. But as the lawsuit from the early 1970s alleged, the county has continued to change: more immigrants and minorities have become residents, housing values went up, a number of communities limited construction of apartments, and there are a good number of lower-paying jobs in wealthier communities. Add this all up and there are affordable housing concerns within a wealthy county and this extends beyond the common suburban debate about “work-force” housing for essential government employees like teachers or policemen or providing cheaper housing for young graduates and/or older residents.

9 thoughts on “Problems at the DuPage Housing Authority

  1. The Application to participate in the “Shared Housing Program” is discriminatory in addition to all the other problems this snobbish organization has.

    They are asking background medical questions, the name of your doctor, what medications you are on or were ever on? Come on. This is private medical information and can be considered privileged between a doctor and his client. This discriminates against the disabled!

    This county needs some leadership and some people who are willing to work at learning the legal ramifications of their documents and actions.

    And try, just try to get into one of their low income facilities. Do you have 1.5 years to wait? I live right across from one of them, and they promised 3 years ago that when I got older I would be offered residence.

    Not now. Too busy. The manager said it is a “nut house{” there and wouldn’t even show me a room after asking several times.

    Very Disappointed

    If any of you professionals would like to contact me, feel free to Email me, as you have my Email, and I will give you my phone number.

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  2. Pingback: HUD investigating DuPage County Housing Authority who is also naming a new director | Legally Sociable

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  4. Dupage Housing Authority does not want minorities there and they try to make Problems for good minority families but not for those engaging in illegal activities. This is perhaps for their hidden agenda, to “expose” the illegal activities of the families engaging in illegal activities, so they can “demonstrate” their belief that the section 8 program doesn’t work. As this county’s ideology is that of Republican. Many in Dupage county dislike low income people, especially minorities. If you move there and a minority family from Cook County, they do not pay rent market value. But they will pay rent market value for a non minority family or non minority individual.They often try find reasons to kick good minority families from the section 8 program but keep the bad ones. They also retaliate if a tenant makes a complaint against them.

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    • The whole county engages in discriminatory practices. The courts take away minority people’s vehicles to keep them from driving and getting to work. I agree Dupage county housing authority is discriminatory towards Minorities, especially blacks trying to do better for themselves.

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  5. Dupage Housing Authority does not want minorities there and they try to make Problems for good minority families but not for those engaging in illegal activities. This is perhaps for their hidden agenda, to “expose” the illegal activities of the families engaging in illegal activities, so they can “demonstrate” their belief that the section 8 program doesn’t work. As this county’s ideology is that of Republican. Many in Dupage county dislike low income people, especially minorities. If you move there and a minority family from Cook County, they do not pay rent market value. But they will pay rent market value for a non minority family or non minority individual.They often try find reasons to kick good minority families from the section 8 program but keep the bad ones. They also retaliate if a tenant makes a complaint against them.

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  6. Pingback: Martin Luther King, atomic energy, open housing, and DuPage County | Legally Sociable

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