Houston Housing Authority’s Backroom Deal

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The Houston Housing Authority fought for months to keep real estate contracts on that controversial 54-million-dollar East End housing project a secret. The Texas Attorney General forced them to make the contracts public.

Now we know why they were hiding the documents.  You will be shocked.

On October 1, 2019, HHA secretly agreed to pay 1.5 million dollars to a politically connected real estate company because of delays in closing the deal. That is money taxpayers will never get back.   The money was paid before Mayor Turner formally asked the Housing and Urban Development Department to approve the real estate deal.   Former HHA Board Members confirm they were not told about the money until after it was paid.

“This is exactly why we have been screaming that the Chairman of the Houston Housing Authority should resign” says Wayne Dolcefino, President of Dolcefino Consulting. “If this real estate deal doesn’t get approved by HUD, or it doesn’t close for another reason, like concerns about contamination, taxpayers will have lost more than 1.5 million dollars to Ernie Cockrell and his real estate company Pinto. This deal gets smellier every single day.”

The developer who stands to make millions on the deal is NRP.

Who is on their payroll?  Former Houston Housing Authority Chairman Lance Gilliam and the wife of County Commissioner Rodney Ellis.

The purchase price for the property has also increased by hundreds of thousands of dollars even though HHA now wants to buy a smaller piece of property. That makes no sense.

The 1.5-million-dollar earnest money contract was signed by Tory Gunsolley, the former president of the HHA.

“The idea that this huge amount of public housing money was given away without a public vote by anyone is just an egregious misuse of housing funds and it should outrage HUD”, says Dolcefino.”

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