WASHINGTON – Today Congressman Lance Gooden (TX-05) sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Marcia Fudge raising concerns about the lack of oversight and local accountability in one of the agency’s most important support programs for homeless Americans.

HUD’s Continuum of Care (CoC) Program provides housing and wraparound care to homeless individuals and families across the country through a network of service providers. However, many local CoC boards lack the accountability that comes with representation and oversight from elected officials and law enforcement and fail to provide adequate services to their communities.

“CoC boards that lack elected representation are vulnerable to waste, fraud and abuse and do not serve the community as intended,” said Congressman Gooden. “Unlike their unelected counterparts, elected officials are held accountable for wasted tax dollars. It’s important to have oversight and accountability as part of any successful program.”

To address nationwide program deficiencies, in his letter, Congressman Gooden requested responses for the following questions:

  • What procedures and policies does HUD have in place to prevent waste, fraud, and “obvious conflicts of interest” like the ones mentioned in the California Auditor’s report?
  • How does HUD plan to prevent and monitor conflicts of interest among CoC boards and who funding is allocated to?
  • Regarding the makeup of CoC boards, how many CoC boards have the following members on their board?
    • What CoC boards currently have elected officials on their board?
    • What CoC boards currently have law enforcement officials on their board?
    • What CoC boards currently have representatives from faith-based organizations on their board?
  • Would you support revisions to existing statute or rulemaking to improve the makeup of CoC boards?
  • How does HUD ensure applicants comply with federal regulations and guidance and implement best practices?
  • How often does HUD conduct quality checks on CoCs’ data-collection methodologies?

A full copy of the letter can be found here.