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The Boston Globe



Link Chelsea’s housing authority to Boston’s, or risk corruption

There are systemic weaknesses in the oversight of public housing authorities in Massachusetts, starting with erratic controls by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development and sloppy state audits, which give too much cover to unethical housing directors and insular local boards. While many authorities function well and provide safe, decent housing for low-income populations, too many others are prone to inefficiencies and outright corruption.

In the wake of recent scandals, both HUD and the Patrick administration should be exploring ways to improve supervision of the 242 authorities, some quite small, which are dotted throughout the state. And lawmakers on Beacon Hill should create new incentives for housing authorities to merge and consolidate services, which would allow for cheaper, more efficient management, with less temptation toward local corruption.

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