Friday, July 31, 2015

Street: HUD "Really Unrealistic" About PHA Resignations

Former Mayor John Street says he can understand why the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development called last Friday on the board of the Philadelphia Housing Authority, where he is the chairman, to resign from the scandal plagued agency. But Street says it is "really unrealistic" to think the board members would step down just because HUD issued a press release.

Street: HUD "Really Unrealistic" About PHA Resignations

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Former Mayor John Street says he can understand why the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development called last Friday on the board of the Philadelphia Housing Authority, where he is the chairman, to resign from the scandal plagued agency.  But Street says it is "really unrealistic" to think the board members would step down just because HUD issued a press release.

Street, visiting City Hall this morning for Mayor Nutter's budget address, said the board has had private discussions with HUD officials and understand there is pressure coming from Senate Republicans to reform PHA.  The FBI and HUD's inspector general have already started probes.

"The board members firmly believe that we really haven’t done anything wrong," Street said. "We’ve done nothing that merits our being removed for cause. But in spite of all of that, most board members are open to talk to HUD about all this stuff. We know HUD has a real serious political problem in Washington. We’d like to be cooperative. But we won’t be cooperative at the complete and total expense of the board."

Asked how the process should work, Street joked that he would not say because it would give reporters a reason to skip tomorrow's PHA board meeting.  One board member, City Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell resigned on Wednesday and another, Debra Brady, is said to be considering her resignation.

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William Bender, a Drexel graduate who landed at the Daily News in 2007, has covered everything from South Philly mobsters to doomsday hucksters. He occasionally writes about local food trucks and always eats everything on his plate, whether it be a bloody rib eye or a corrupt politician. E-mail tips to benderw@phillynews.com
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David Gambacorta, has been a reporter with the Daily News since 2005, covering crime, police corruption and all of the other bizarre things that happen in Philadelphia. Now he’s covering the 2015 mayor’s race, because he enjoys a good circus just as much as the next guy. He’s always looking to get a cup of coffee. Send news tips and other musings on life to gambacd@phillynews.com
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