Thursday, April 17, 2008

A Sleeper Issue?

Rep. Page Critical of Oversight
A state audit released Thursday criticized the State Housing Commission's use of tax credit program designed to build more low-income housing. The audit could serve as a springboard to for the housing commission to become an issue in this election year.
Auditor Susan Montee called the tax credit program "costly and inefficient." Read the complete report HERE.
In response, Gov. Matt Blunt again renewed his call for the General Assembly to pass legislation removing all elected officials from the commission. The governor said a state audit released today reinforces a recommendation he received last year by a bipartisan panel he appointed to review the MHDC.

“Last year I formed a bipartisan panel to conduct the first ever full government review of the state’s housing agency. This Blue Ribbon Panel suggested a change to remove elected officials from the Commission to remove the perception that politics may play a role in its decisions," Blunt said.

“Lt. Gov. Kinder and I have called for legislation to remove elected officials from the Commission and the release of an audit today stating there is a perception that ‘political influence impacts project selection’ reinforces the need for this change," he added.

“Making this aggressive change will allow the Commission to focus on its core mission of providing affordable housing to Missourians and eliminate any perception that politics are at play in the Housing Commission’s actions.”

Currently, the governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general and treasurer serve on the commission.

Montee's audit revealed that only 35 cents from every dollar spent on tax credits for the Low Interest Housing Tax Credit program goes toward constructing new housing. The remaining 65 cents goes toward administrative costs and other overhead that doesn't directly build more housing for Missouri's poorest citizens, according to Rep. Sam Page, who's running for Lieutenant Governor.

"With the next leadership the MHDC can be a wonderful program," Page said. "As lieutenant governor I'll be committed to using taxpayer dollars in a fiscally responsible manner to get the best value for our investment in affordable housing," he added.

"I want to encourage fair and open competition and accountability," he said. "Pay to play must end."


moLTgov said...

Mike Carter, the leading candidate for Missouri's Lt. Governor, has been in real estate for nearly 20 years.

He helped 1000's of first time buyers get into their homes -- many many with the help of the MHDC.

Mike Carter knows first hand the true purpose of the MHDC and promises to protect the commission from power grabs like Blunt's.

No other candidate for Lieutenant Governor of Missouri can rival the real-world experience Carter brings to Missouri's housing woes.

Chad Carter

Fred said...

Ok, As long as the campaign is bringing Mike Carter into the discussion... Considering that Candidate Carter is Showing Us the Hypocrisy of running an Autodialer Driven Telemarketing Campaign to tell Missouri Voters how he's going to "protect" us from Autodialer Driven Telemarketing of Political Campaigns with a Political Do Not Call List", the claim that he "promises to protect the commission from power grabs" is a hard one to beleive.