State Treasurer appalled after seeing 'Unfair Housing' investigation

State Treasurer appalled after seeing 'Unfair Housing' investigation
Published: Nov. 21, 2015 at 2:20 AM CST|Updated: Nov. 21, 2015 at 2:40 AM CST
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NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - State treasurer John Kennedy says he's appalled after seeing the findings of our FOX 8 "Unfair Housing" investigation.

"I was surprised first, and then I was appalled, and then I was angry," said Kennedy.

Now Kennedy is calling for an investigation into the public housing system.

"I want our people to go verify it, and then we are going to do whatever we got to do. At least I am going to ask them to have the people removed and to sue them for the money," said Kennedy.

Kennedy is talking about the over-income public housing tenants across the state exposed in our investigation. We found one tenant making more than $140,000 a year living in New Orleans.

"That's what happens a lot in government. They get caught, usually by FOX 8, they get caught and the government will go, 'oh were sorry, we're outraged, it will never happen again,' and then nothing happens to them. You know, in the real world acts are supposed to have consequences," said Kennedy.

In July, a federal audit of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's public housing system ranked Louisiana seventh in the country for allowing people to live in public housing who earned more than HUD's 2014 eligibility income limits.

HUD then sent a letter to housing authorities across the country that encouraged them to adopt local policies to remove extremely over-income tenants to ensure public housing is available for the nation's most vulnerable families.

But our investigation continues to find over-income tenants still living in public housing in Louisiana. Kennedy says that has to stop.

"We have the right to go in and say, hey are you spending the tax credits correctly. Now I want to know whether that's been done. We know the answer, the answer is if someone is making $150,000 a year living in affordable housing, that's just wrong," said Kennedy.

HANO would not do an on-camera interview with us but they did give us this statement: "HUD has issued updated guidance, which will be vetted through our next agency planning process."

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