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Letter: HUD must take action against Buffalo housing

Congressman Brian Higgins letter to the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Inspector General hopefully gets action needed to turn a dysfunctional Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority around.

For years I have tried to bring attention to the mismanagement, incompetence and corruption at BMHA, filing two complaints myself with the HUD Inspector General that led to audits.

One such audit uncovered legal fees over one million paid to a politically-connected law firm.

The second audit, not yet revealed, dealt with the purchase of $80,000 in smoke detectors never installed and magically disappeared.

Part of the problem is the local HUD office itself that monitors the BMHA. If their oversight was done this should never happen. This is not only about the Perry Development, which is one of the worst, but all of the 28 complexes that deal with, mold, lead, broken kitchen cabinets and more.

Take a ride by any complex and check the curb appeal.

At Lyndon B. Johnson that sits near Delaware Park a section of fence has been missing after a car accident for six years. Slater Courts on Seneca Street has a crushed awning from the October Surprise Storm and elevators in high rises that constantly break down. The BMHA has systematically refused to hire maintenance staff. How can you maintain 3,000-plus units?

BMHA’s tactic remains demolition-by-neglect. Possible criminal charges must be filed. The executive staff at BMHA are so arrogant they believe after a couple of weeks it will go away. Let’s hope it won’t and Congressman Higgins brings to bear the full weight of HUD.

Joe Mascia

Former Commissioner

Buffalo

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