News & Resources

Michigan housing agency responsible for lack of screening

Jan 18, 2011 Matt Roesly

The Michigan State Housing Development Authority was found to be in violation of a number of housing practices relating to a lack of background screening of former convicts and other questionable actions, the Detroit News reports. An investigation by Michigan Auditor General Thomas McTavish revealed that the MSHDA did not conduct appropriate screening of low-income tenants who were ex-convicts, including sex offenders, drug dealers and other violent criminals. In addition to housing, the authority also provided large sums of misdirected financial support. The authority is accused of issuing money to "prospective tenants" who were still in prison - in one case up to six years - while paying more than $100,000 to tenants who had died, the News reports. McTavish claims the housing development authority had no strict precedent to follow when it came to residential placing and financial support, but that the authority's decisions were not in line with the well-being of other tenants or public safety. As of 2008, the MSHDA had $3.6 billion in assets and $565 million in revenue to assist public and private partnerships in finding housing for lower- and middle-income individuals.