FLORIDA – Report: Florida agency spent $100,000-plus on own employees instead of helping homeowners

CCFJ.NET:  Report: Florida agency spent $100,000-plus on own employees instead of helping homeowners
Article Courtesy of The Tampa Bay Times

By Susan Taylor Martin

Published September 6, 2016


Instead of doing all it could to help struggling homeowners, Florida’s housing agency spent more than $100,000 in federal Hardest Hit funds on bonuses and perks for its own employees.

That was among the findings of a report released Friday by the special inspector general for the Trouble Asset Relief Program (TARP), which was started after the Great Recession.

As thousands of people waited for financial aid to save their homes, Florida Housing Finance Corp. treated employees to $106,775 in bonuses, Visa gift cards and barbecue from Piggy’s BBQ in Tallahassee, the report said. That sum was part of the $3 million in Hardest Hit funds improperly used by agencies in several states that administer the mortgage relief program.

“Congress did not authorize TARP dollars for barbecues, steak and seafood dinners, gift cards, flowers, gym memberships, employee bonuses, litigation, celebrations, cars, and other unnecessary expenses of state housing agencies, but those are some of the charges… forensic analysis uncovered,” said Christy Goldsmith Romero, special inspector general for TARP.  Read more:

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