South Bend Housing Authority Investigation
Jul 31, 2019, the FBI conducted several raids in South Bend. The targets were connected to the South Bend Housing Authority.
The South Bend Housing Authority, which draws funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, operates hundreds of public housing units and over 2,100 Section 8 vouchers in South Bend.
Mayor Buttigieg's office does not run the South Bend Housing Authority. In fact, he's clashed with them over conditions and complaints from residents for years.
In 2014, "Mayor Pete Buttigieg, along with the board of commissioners sent a letter to the U.S. Housing of Urban Development (HUD) asking for an audit of the department's finances. The formal request for an audit was made in February, just weeks before Leonard-Dent [the Executive Director] resigned from her position."
In 2015, the entire board of commissioners resigned after a series of low performance scores by the federal government, placing the authority in the lowest status of “troubled.” In 2017, the housing authority’s status was upgraded from “troubled” to “sub-standard.”
In Oct 2018, Buttigieg convened a meeting, invited the press, and called out the Housing Authority. “There are some issues that have gotten to the level that I think we need to pay special attention to,” Buttigieg said. “They’ve gotten to the level that has prompted me to decide that working to support and improve the housing authority will be in the top tier of priorities for my administration for as long as I’m mayor.” He also sent a letter to the Housing Commisioner, outlining a number of concerns with the Soubth Bend Housing Authority. You can see the letter here.
Buttigieg has repeatedly held the Housing Authority's feet to the fire, trying to improve conditions for their residents and their accountability to the city. Buttigieg has called for outside investigation and oversight of the South Bend Housing Authority.
- ABC57: FBI conducting investigation at South Bend Housing Authority
- ABC57: Top Stories of 2012: South Bend Housing Authority scandal
- South Bend Tribune: Buttigieg calls for reform at South Bend Housing Authority
- Buttigieg letter posted on Scrib
- WSBT22: Housing authority board says it was "ambushed" by mayor's list of concerns