New York City Pays Millions In Rent Assistance To Dead People

NEW YORK (WCBS 880/AP) – A new audit shows that New York City paid out nearly $12 million in rent subsidies in recent years to 4,000 deceased residents.

WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond On The Story

“It may be funny for some people, but it’s actually pretty sad,” said City Comptroller John Liu.

City officials say they’ve already recouped $3.3 million and plan to collect the rest.

The audit by Liu covered the period from July 2009 to November 2010.

“It is totally unacceptable and the Department of Finance and the landlords have to reign in this kind of waste, if not abuse,” Liu told WCBS 880 reporter Marla Diamond.

Liu has turned over his findings to the Manhattan district attorney’s office to determine if any crimes were committed.

The city says it discovered the errors even before the comptroller uncovered them.

The problem emerged from a popular program called the Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption Program. It assists low-income elderly tenants with their rents.

Landlords or family members are required to notify the city within 30 days if participants move or die.

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

More from Marla Diamond
  • midi-man

    Bloomberg administration at its finest.

  • goblin

    I have a better idea. Stop rent subsidies and no longer worry about abuse.

    People should have responsibility to pay their own rent or move into something they can afford without relying on the city to pay.

    • jasonm

      Novel idea goblin but the dematurds would decry that as class warfare!

  • stevre

    Yeah right. Free money coming in every month with no strings attached and no one checking up on any of this. I’m sure gonna let the city know grandma died so they can stop it!

    • ALIVE and Kicking

      @ stevre, you are full of horse manure. It took this “revelation” for you to now inform the city that Grandma died. Let me were living there with her,her rent was the amount of my monthly laundry bill and now you’re scared as a rat who’s being chased by a hungry, determined cat. It’s not uncommon, majority of the people/adults who live in subsidized housing were there with their parents/relatives. Many yrs ago rent was “affordable”, now it’s like signing on the dotted line for a mortgage payment. Beware, they are coming…and God forbid your not on the lease it’s bye-bye to you.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Giving Tuesday
Charles Osgood Event

Listen Live