NBC10 Investigators: Philadelphia Public Housing Officials Among Hundreds in U.S. Earning More Than Federal Limit

An NBC10 investigation found public housing executives earning more than the federal limit. According to Housing and Urban Development’s latest records, 302 federally funded public housing executives earned more than $157,100.

The federal government won’t cover salaries above that limit. The extra money comes from local sources.

Eight Philadelphia public housing executives currently earn more than the federal limit, including Philadelphia Housing Authority President Kelvin Jeremiah. His salary is $243,390.66, according to housing authority records.

“You have to pay them a rate that would attract and retain them,” Jeremiah said when asked why the salaries exceeded the federal limit.

This year, the Philadelphia Housing Authority will have to come up with an extra $146,031 to pay excess executive salaries.  According to documentation provided by the housing authority, $24,967 will come from the sale of obsolete equipment including sidewalk sweepers, duct tape rolls and electrical wire.

Jeremiah said investment income will cover the rest but did not provide documentation showing the source of that money. The housing authority’s 2015 financial audit shows it earned $14.1 million from investments last year.

“Use it for what the purpose of public housing is for safe, affordable housing,” Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa said.

Grassley has introduced legislation to stop housing authorities from using local money to pay executives.

In 2014, the Department of Housing and Urban Development found six public housing authorities using federal money to pay excess executive salaries.  Three of them are in Northern New Jersey.  All had to return the excess money.

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