The White House has certainly done plenty to stimulate the auto industry. But subsidizing public housing officials’ trips to the salon for mani/pedis might be going the extra mile.
That kind of use of “take-home vehicles” prompted Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) to fire off a letter last week pressing HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan to justify his agency’s spending on fancy cars and trucks for employees. (The salon trip was documented by a TV station in Albuquerque, which busted a local housing director for not only driving to the salon in government wheels, but for having an improper license plate.)
A HUD spokeswoman didn’t return the Loop’s calls.
In the letter, Grassley also noted that the Philadelphia Public Housing Authority, for example, had 200 vehicles available “for PPHA employees to use as they pleased” and that HUD wheels were often flashy, bells-and-whistles models.
Grassley wants to know how many and what kinds of vehicles are available to HUD employees, as well as what restrictions come with their keys. “I continue to be concerned about questionable spending for unnecessary vehicles draining precious resources from the core mission of providing safe and affordable housing for those in need,” he wrote.
Sounds like he’s more interested in trimming spending than cuticles.