User uShare Login | Register
Login
Register

Along with posting photos, videos, and stories, your uShare account lets you post Classified Ads, recipes on What's For Dinner, and Announcements.


64° View Weather Current Conditions Sioux Falls Change Location
Set Weather Options

RADAR LOCATION

TEMPERATURE LOCATION

News

[0] My Saved Articles
Find local businesses
on the KELO Pages!

 

SD Congressional Delegation Reacts To Rental Assistance Investigation

May 1, 2014, 10:00 PM by Hailey Higgins

SD Congressional Delegation Reacts To Rental Assistance Investigation
SIOUX FALLS, SD -

$11 million: that's the money the Sioux Falls Housing & Redevelopment Commission receives every year to help nearly 1,800 families pay for rent.

The money is divvied out based on income and how many people live in each apartment. But in an investigation, KELOLAND News found people with high-incomes remaining on the program.

Rental assistance programs are funded by taxpayer money and South Dakota's congressional delegation reacts to the results of the investigation.

Sioux Falls' Housing and Redevelopment Commission helps keep a roof over the heads of low-income families, the elderly, and people with disabilities. Demand for the rental assistance is high. Leslie Williams and her three boys are on the waiting list that spans up to five years.

"I just really do the best that I can," Williams said.

The guidelines to get into the program are strict, yet some people making above the income limit are still enrolled in the program.

As we showed you last night, after a request of public records, KELOLAND News found 509 households above federal poverty guidelines. Three families make more than $50,000 a year. One family of three brings in $61,382.

"It hurts but in the other sense, that is just the reality. It's not here, it's everywhere." Williams said.

Executive Director Shireen Ranschau says families who reach a higher income, remain on the program without assistance, for six months as a safety net. Incomes are verified each year to prevent fraud.

"To be honest, you'll have a few who just try to work the system and not work," Ranschau said.

Yet, with an $11 million annual budget paid by taxpayer dollars, we took the results of our investigation to South Dakota's congressional delegation.

Rep. Kristi Noem (R) South Dakota says: It’s absolutely heartbreaking to learn that families who are truly struggling in Sioux Falls aren’t able to get the help they need because others are taking advantage of these taxpayer-funded resources.  We must make sure every taxpayer dollar is being used appropriately and that the outcomes of this program are aligning with its objectives.

Senator John Thune (R) South Dakota says: I understand how important access to affordable housing assistance is to families and communities. We have a responsibility to ensure that federal resources aimed at assisting low-income families and administered at the local level are getting to those in greatest need, when they need it. At a time when all programs and budgets are under higher levels of scrutiny, both Congress and taxpayers demand transparency and oversight to ensure federal dollars are spent wisely and administered appropriately.

Senator Tim Johnson (D) South Dakota adds: Housing programs in Sioux Falls and in other communities across the state help provide struggling families, seniors, and children with a roof over their heads. That is why it is critically important that all federal resources are used effectively and that anyone found to be defrauding or abusing any federal program is held accountable.

The US Office of Inspector General says anyone found committing fraud while receiving federally-assisted housing is subject to a $10,000 fine and five years in prison.

Previous Story

Next Story


Comments







 
Find Local Businesses on KELO Pages!

View news

You may also like

Charges Filed After Baby Hurt At Day Care

8/19/2014 11:13 AM

A Sioux Falls day care provider faces charges after a child in her care was hospitalized.

Full Story
SUV Driver Ticketed Following Deadly Crash

8/18/2014 11:35 AM

Sioux Falls Police have ticketed a 26-year-old driver for her involvement in a deadly bicycle crash last month.

Full Story
Illinois Man Found Dead In The Black Hills

8/17/2014 11:30 AM

Authorities say a 23-year-old Illinois man who was reported missing in early August was found dead in the Black Hills National Forest.

Full Story
Father In NW Iowa Murder Case Died Of Natural Causes

8/20/2014 9:44 AM

Autopsy results are back on a northwest Iowa man who was found dead along with his wife in July.

Full Story
Sioux Falls Police Searching For Assault Suspect

8/20/2014 11:49 AM

Authorities are looking for a 19-year-old man who assaulted and kidnapped his 17-year-old girlfriend.

Full Story


Events