It’s Your Money You Decide – Should You Applaud or Gasp?

Federal Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan announced recently “the Recovery Act is making a long-term impact on American families and communities by reducing energy costs, creating green jobs and improving the quality of life for people across the country.”  The question here is at what cost and is it a good value for the taxpayers.

Secretary Donavan said he was “proud to announce a major Recovery Act milestone for HUD and the Administration. Through HUD’s Green Retrofit Program for Multifamily Housing, we’ve been able to award more than $100 million to 100 affordable housing developments around the country to complete energy efficient renovations, and HUD will continue to issue the awards from now through September 30, 2010.”  Oh that sounds good but what are the facts?

The 100 affordable housing developments receiving HUD funding include over 8,000 homes, and HUD anticipates that the awards will allow tenants will save over $250 each on utility bills annually.  Ok so let’s for round the number up to 9,000 and divide it into the $100 million he is so proud of.  That would be a little over $11,000 per household.  The Secretary pointed out that “HUD anticipates that the awards will allow tenants will save over $250 each on utility bills annually.”   Yup, if the tenant stays there for 44 years the savings will just equal the investment.

According to the esteemed Secretary, “The Green Retrofit Program is also an example of HUD’s ongoing commitment to creating jobs while simultaneously building sustainable homes and communities.”  With all due respect to the Secretary this short-term politically correct employment is not an on going commitment and does not create a long-term job.  This is a grant program and when the money runs out there is no job it is only a false hope and misrepresents job creation just as temporary census workers were counted as new jobs.

The biggest long-term impact of this program will be the burden of paying for it as it is passed on to the children of the future as existing long-term debt.  We must look beyond the label of political correctness and when you glance at a headline with this administration you must read the fine print.  It is often said the devil is in the details.

Information for the above was taken from a posting of Secretary Shaun Donovan on August 20, 2010.

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