Marco Rubio Bill Targets Public Housing Slumlords
Hundreds of landlords have been fined and/or debarred from doing business with the federal government for being slumlords. But Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) wants to make sure the public housing process can run even better. He introduced legislation this month that would allow the Secretary of HUD to better enforce safe and sanitary standards in federal housing. The HUD Inspection Process and Enforcement Reform Act would also require HUD to publish housing reports that detail inspection scores of facilities, as well as actions taken to protect the health and safety of affected tenants. The Secretary would have the ability to impose civil monetary penalties, transfer ownership away from slumlords, and prohibit them from other federal programs. The bill stems from Global Ministries Foundation, which has come under criticism in other places for the condition of affordable housing it owns. The properties have been described as “inhumane.” “Low income housing residents have suffered at the hands of slumlords like Global Ministries Foundation who were able to get away with their despicable scheme in part because of HUD’s lax oversight,” said Rubio. “This legislation will protect vulnerable residents from these despicable slumlords and hold HUD accountable for the deplorable living conditions that too many Floridians have had to face.” Rubio’s bill would also allow HUD to remove certain employees from civil service -- or reduce the grade or pay for misconduct or performance -- and protect whistleblowers. More here.