A group of 200 community leaders from across the country, charging that federally backed housing programs are poorly run, yesterday asked Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Patricia Harris to help solve numerous housing problems.
In a late afternoon meeting, Harris listened to a committee of 30 from National People's Action, who told her of instances in which cities failed to pass federal housing money on to needy communities. In some of those communities some federal aid is proposed for use on luxury projects - such as hotels - and - some low-income families who bought houses from HUD have had to spend enormous sums to repair the shoddy workmanship in their "new" homes.
"Your opposition is not in this room. It's outside this room," Harris said after the group outlined a list of problems. "Our goals are identical. We may disagree on some details, but we have the same concerns."
Lenora Rogers, spokeswoman for NPA, which represents 152 cities in 42 cities, pressured Harris for an immediate response to the problems presented by the group.
"We need to know which of these demands you can say'yes' to day," Roger said. "And we need to know when, what and where do we go to get help for every thing on our list."
Among the requests made by the group was a demand that HUD fully reimburse homeowners for repairs made on defective homes purhased from HUD and that HUD follow a practice of reassigning federally guarranteed mortgage loans of low-income homeowners facing foreclosures.THarris told the group that no immediate action could be taken on most of the issues and and she invited the leaders of the group to work out with her staff details of a future "working session."
Representatives of the group, in Washington for a two-day conference, also met yesterday with Attorney General Griffin B. Bell in an effort to get more federal aid for a neighborhood foot patrolmen.