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The Dead Don’t Pay
by Allan Appel | Oct 21, 2013 10:39 am
The housing authority has removed from its books $303,359 in rent unpaid by the dead, those who have skipped town, and those whose only income is Social Security or other basic government support and cannot be garnished.
The Housing Authority of New Haven (HANH) Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to approve the move at its regular monthly meeting Tuesday afternoon.
Acting chief financial officer Diana Smith explained the action as “purely preparation for our financial statement.”
The act removes those amounts from the general financial ledgers for reporting purposes as HANH closed its books on the recent fiscal fiscal year last month.
The amount represents a balance for what HANH describes as “vacated tenants” from fiscal year 2013.
“This amount includes residents that are deceased, terminally ill and in nursing homes. It also includes residents that have been evicted or skipped leaving no forwarding address,” reads the resolution that the commissioners passed.
The information regarding unpaid balances remains in HANH’s database. Efforts at collection are ongoing, but generally of limited success.
Click here for a previous story about how HANH has used collection agencies to collect unpaid debt. Most of the $278,000 written off back in 2008 could not be collected, and was written off as a loss.
If a former deadbeat tenant seeks readmission, past unpaid balances need to be forked over before readmission is considered, Smith said.
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Consider this: This is just little old New Haven. Imagine what this number is for the entire HUD system. My guess. Hundreds of millions. Any one else venture a number?