Philadelphia Housing Authority boss also plagued with tax woes

An exterior photo of Carl Greene's condo at Naval Square, 103 Surgeon General's Court. (Elizabeth Robertson / Staff Photographer)

Philadelphia Housing Authority chief Carl R. Greene's money problems go much deeper than his unpaid mortgage.

Greene settled a tab with the Internal Revenue Service in December after the agency slapped him with a lien for $52,480 in unpaid federal taxes dating back to 2002.

Attempts to reach Greene yesterday were unsuccessful and a spokesman did not provide a response to questions about the tax lien.

But one PHA commissioner raised questions about why Greene - who makes $306,370 as PHA executive director - is facing foreclosure on his Naval Square complex condo and having difficulty keeping up with federal tax payments.

"There is something wrong with the picture," PHA Commissioner Nellie Reynolds said yesterday. "That's just really crazy . . . That makes me jittery."

Greene bought his condo for $615,035 in 2007. According to financial records, Greene took out a $400,000 mortgage to buy the 2,100-square-foot home in southwest Center City.

Based on the civil suit filed by Wells Fargo Bank, Greene stopped paying his mortgage in April. In June, he was notified that he was past due by $7,550. Then in July, the bank sued Greene, saying he owed $386,685, which is the principal balance plus interest, late charges and other fees.

Breaking all those numbers down, this means that Greene, who makes $25,530 a month before taxes, stopped paying his $2,431 mortgage bill.

Reynolds, a PHA board member off and on for more than two decades, said she intends to ask Greene about the delinquent tax payments because she wants to make sure his troubles aren't impacting or connected to PHA business.

"There might not be any real concern," she said. "It depends on what it is. It depends on the reason why he has had trouble paying. I don't want to be judgmental. I don't know his personal business. I don't know why he is not paying his bills. If it's not impacting PHA, if it's not tied to PHA, then it's his own personal business. We don't tell him what to do with his money."

But Greene's salary should be more than enough to cover his finances, Reynolds said.

"Not paying his taxes and not paying his mortgage - I don't know what he is doing with the money," she said.

Attempts to reach other commissioners yesterday were unsuccessful. Former Mayor John Street, chairman of the board of commissioners, did not respond to detailed requests for comment.

A spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which provides funding to PHA, said HUD would not comment on Greene's mortgage situation.

Reynolds noted, only half joking, that if Greene soon finds himself with no place to live, he'll have to apply and qualify for public housing just like all the other PHA residents.

"He can put in his application but he has to qualify for it," she said.