CTCOG to Take Over Killeen Housing Authority Section 8 Programs

Killeen, Texas – The Killeen Housing Authority (KHA) Board of Commissioners unanimously voted on Thursday to allow the Central Texas Council of Governments (CTCOG) to take over all Section 8 programs, including the voucher program, that KHA had been responsible for. This decision followed a federal investigation that had been ongoing for at least 18 months and included allegations of missing funds, internal conflicts, mass resignations, and a lack of trust within the organization.

KHA serves as a provider of public housing for low-income residents in Killeen and utilizes federal funding for its Section 8 program, which assists individuals in paying rent. The organization owns and manages 154 public housing rental units in the city.

The federal Department of Housing and Urban Development’s investigative arm, the Office of Inspector General (HUD OIG), led a raid at the home of a former KHA director in Killeen on March 2, 2022. This raid was conducted in cooperation with the FBI and the Killeen Police Department. The investigation was focused on alleged violations of the Fair Housing Act by KHA.

Former KHA executive director DeAdra Johnson had previously reported a morning raid at her residence, stating that law enforcement officers entered her premises with guns drawn, yelling obscenities. Johnson was accused of favoritism in placing individuals on the housing waiting list, and she ultimately resigned from her position due to bullying from KHA board members.

Computers were also seized from KHA as part of the HUD OIG investigation.

During a morning meeting on Thursday, the KHA board discussed the possibility of transferring the Section 8 programs to CTCOG due to KHA’s financial difficulties. KHA Board Chair Ebony Jackson revealed that KHA had a budget of only $85 at that time and acknowledged the funding issues.

KHA Board Commissioner Bruce Whiteside emphasized the need for an external agency to conduct a forensic audit, as there were uncertainties regarding the control of KHA’s bank accounts.

Carmen Lim, director of the CTCOG housing division, stated that CTCOG could not retroactively pay the money owed. Cinda Hayward, a consultant for KHA, mentioned the likelihood of another investigation by HUD but assured that no money was owed to HUD at that time.

During the meeting, residents and landlords voiced concerns about unpaid rent, threats of eviction, and difficulties in reaching KHA representatives.

In the afternoon meeting, the KHA board voted to transfer the Section 8 programs to CTCOG, including the public housing units in north and south Killeen.

Jim Reed, executive director of CTCOG, expressed CTCOG’s commitment to ensuring tenants receive assistance and landlords are paid promptly. He explained CTCOG’s experience in managing Section 8 programs and the accountability measures in place.

The transition of the Section 8 programs to CTCOG aims to address the financial challenges and uncertainties within KHA, and provide stability to tenants and landlords affected by the situation.

The fate of the Moss Rose Community Center, operated by KHA, was also discussed, with some advocating for its continuation. Killeen Mayor Debbie Nash-King suggested that KHA should exit the housing business and turn it over to CTCOG.

Hayward stated that KHA was more than $253,000 in debt, and Whiteside once again called for the transfer of the voucher program to CTCOG.

The situation remains under investigation, and KHA faces challenges in addressing the financial issues and ensuring the well-being of its tenants and landlords. An emergency meeting to discuss the Moss Rose situation is scheduled for November 6, and the next regular KHA commission meeting will be held on November 17.

The decision to transfer Section 8 programs to CTCOG represents a significant development in addressing the ongoing challenges faced by the Killeen Housing Authority and its clients.

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