HUD's Dollar Program Misses Mark, Benefits Contractors and Investors

An L.A. Times investigation reveals that HUD's 10-year-old Dollar Homes program provided little lasting benefit to the intended recipients and significant rewards to investors and contractors.
April 13, 2009, 2pm PDT | Tim Halbur
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"More than 2,300 homes have been sold by HUD for $1 each nationwide, with 326 in California. Nearly half of the homes in California were bought by companies or individuals who typically resold them at a much higher price. Only 15% were sold to nonprofit housing groups such as Habitat for Humanity, records show.

The city of San Bernardino bought more Dollar Homes -- 62 -- than any other city or county in the state. But San Bernardino officials could not provide The Times with any account of what happened to the homes after they were sold.

"They went back to the private market, and hopefully they were maintained and kept up," said Carey Jenkins, the housing director of San Bernardino's economic development agency, which oversees the city's Dollar Homes purchases. "And that was pretty much the end of our involvement.""

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Published on Sunday, April 12, 2009 in The Los Angeles Times
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