HUD prods Philadelphia Housing Authority for answers on legal spending

The Philadelphia Housing Authority has some explaining to do. Federal housing officials want more details on how $1 million got spent on PHA legal fees. 

The fees include money paid to attorneys to attend events sponsored by the Philadelphia Housing Authority. Jerry Brown of the US Department of Housing and Urban Development says that’s not right.

“The message is federal dollars should be expended for what their intended purpose should be and that is housing folks,” said Brown. “Attending receptions and other things fall well outside the federal guidelines.”

Michael Kelly is currently running the Philadelphia Housing Authority. He is reviewing PHA’s use of outside attorneys.

“The idea of having attorney paid to be part of a dinner or a party is truly egregious,” said Kelly. “We’ll be looking at things like if attorney had charged us in the preparation of billing or things like that in establishment of our criteria.”

Kelly says if the legal fees are unjustified the PHA will seek refunds.

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