Three Anderson workers fired over relatives' HUD funds

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Three employees of an Anderson department that receives federal money for affordable housing lost their jobs after they failed to notify city and federal officials that they had relatives living in homes paid for with the funds.

Interim economic development director Greg Winkler said the workers violated procedures by failing to inform the city's attorneys and federal officials that they had conflicts of interest.

Winkler told The Herald-Bulletin that the department receives more than $1 million in Housing and Urban Development funds each year. An investigation showed more than $600,000 of that money was used to house employee family members in HUD homes.

At least five cases have been found in which relatives were housed in HUD homes. Winkler said that could rise as the investigation continues.

Four of the violations stemmed from the HOME program, which allows people to lease a house from the city at a subsidized rate. Renters who want to buy the home within three years have half the money paid in rent applied toward a down payment.

At least one violation was tired to the Community Development Block Grant program, which uses funds to build homes for families.

Winkler said the Community Development Department is required to follow specific procedures to divulge any conflicts of interest, including seeking a review by the city's legal counsel and HUD authorities. Because those procedures weren't followed, the city had two options to resolve the conflict, he said.

"The people in those homes either have to move out of the homes, or the community development employees involved in this have to be removed," Winkler said. "It has to be one or the other. The feeling on the part of all parties involved is that it doesn't make sense to ask family members to move out of the homes.

"The last thing we want to do is in any way punish the folks that are receiving benefits. From our perspective, it's not their fault."

The city is not releasing the names of the fired employees.

Winkler said the city notified the Indianapolis HUD office of the violations and expects the Federal Housing Authority will conduct an audit. Anderson may have to repay some of the HUD money because of the violations, he said.


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  1. Those of you yelling to deport them all should at least understand that the law allows minors (if not from a bordering country) to argue for asylum. If you don't like the law, you can petition Congress to change it. But you can't blindly scream that they all need to be deported now, unless you want your government to just decide which laws to follow and which to ignore.

  2. 52,000 children in a country with a population of nearly 300 million is decimal dust or a nano-amount of people that can be easily absorbed. In addition, the flow of children from central American countries is decreasing. BL - the country can easily absorb these children while at the same time trying to discourage more children from coming. There is tension between economic concerns and the values of Judeo-Christian believers. But, I cannot see how the economic argument can stand up against the values of the believers, which most people in this country espouse (but perhaps don't practice). The Governor, who is an alleged religious man and a family man, seems to favor the economic argument; I do not see how his position is tenable under the circumstances. Yes, this is a complicated situation made worse by politics but....these are helpless children without parents and many want to simply "ship" them back to who knows where. Where are our Hoosier hearts? I thought the term Hoosier was synonymous with hospitable.

  3. Illegal aliens. Not undocumented workers (too young anyway). I note that this article never uses the word illegal and calls them immigrants. Being married to a naturalized citizen, these people are criminals and need to be deported as soon as humanly possible. The border needs to be closed NOW.

  4. Send them back NOW.

  5. deport now