The Housing Hustle

Under Reagan and "Silent Sam," HUD took care of the greedy instead of the needy

The cornerstone of Ronald Reagan's campaign for the White House was an attack on Government waste, fraud and abuse. Singled out for special scorn were "giveaway" programs for the poor. Now, as Congress delves into a spreading scandal at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the hypocrisy of Reagan's rhetoric has been brought into sharp relief. During his Administration, a massive giveaway did take place, but to the greedy, not the needy. HUD, whose prime mission is to provide shelter for low-income citizens, instead became a gold mine for Republican insiders, ambitious developers and powerful Washington consultants.

At the heart...

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