Ben Carson will reverse the Obama administration’s Section 8 housing policy at the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The move will return the bidding process to competitive bidding. Obama’s methodology for awarding these projects was rebuked by lawmakers and the U.S. Supreme Court.
Obama officials knew the grant process was illegal but did not care or take action:
“Supporters of the competitive bidding procurement process say the net result will increase efficiency in the program and save taxpayer money. And Republican lawmakers that have been critical of HUD’s actions in the past are applauding the change in course as well.
“‘When dealing with performance-based Section 8 contract administrators, it’s clear that full and open competition is the way to get the best value for the taxpayer,’ said Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla. ‘As Chairman of the Housing Appropriations Subcommittee, I have repeatedly insisted both publicly and privately that HUD follow Congressional intent, the GAO, and the Supreme Court.’
“Diaz-Balart is one of a small handful of elected officials who put pressure on HUD and then-Secretary Julián Castro during the years in which HUD ignored findings that their grant process was illegal.“
Section 8 housing pays landlords to aide low-income people find affordable housing. HUD, as many government agencies do, had trouble keeping the program moving efficiently. So in 1995 they contracted the process out through a competitive bidding process. But in 2012 they started using grant-like funding mechanisms instead. It was a monumental shift that angered many contractors. Those jilted contractors appealed the decision to the Government Accountability Office to which the GAO ruled HUD’s actions were “unreasonable and in disregard of applicable statutory guidance.”
But the Obama Administration ignored that ruling. They continued to lose lawsuits all the way up to the Supreme Court when they denied their appeal in 2015. But HUD still refused to change their illegal practices.
But that has come to an end. The Trump Administration will restore the competitive bidding practice that opens the process up to a fair and open competition. Which is exactly the way it should be in America.