Tulalip, Marysville, Wash.
A $2.5 million HUD grant for low-income housing instead built luxury houses on big lots, including a 5,296-square-foot house for the housing authority's executive director and her husband, who make $92,319 a year.
Muckleshoot, Auburn, Wash.
The tribal-housing authority spent $2.5 million of a $7 million grant on a high-priced architect, overpriced model home and sewers before HUD suspended funding to investigate how the money was being spent. The money was supposed to build 65 badly needed units.
Chehlis, Oakville, Wash.
Housing officials won a federal grant of nearly $800,000 for emergency home repairs and replacement of a sewage-treatment system then spent most of it on the custom remodeling of 10 homes.
Puyallup, Tacoma, Wash.
The tribe is embroiled in a legal battle with residents of newly purchased low-income houses after a complicated financing scheme backfired, allowing some of them to occupy their places without signing a contract or paying rent. Even though the mess is not yet sorted out, the housing authority recently received another $1.3 million.
Shoalwater Bay, Tokeland, Wash.
A $1.2 million housing grant bought a polluted, unusable piece of property and built a large home for the tribal chairman.
Yakama, Yakima, Wash.
The troubled housing authority hired a San Diego businessman as executive director in 1993. Within a year he had stolen $92,000 worth of goods and services intended for low-income Indians.
Nez Perce, Lapwai, Idaho
The first expenditures of a $1.8 million grant meant for low-income housing went instead to four large houses the housing authority had hoped to sell or rent to middle-income families. There were no takers, so the housing authority is stuck with them.
Northern Cheyenne, Lame Deer, Mont.
A 1995 spot audit discovered the housing authority had $700,000 in uninsured investments and bank accounts.
Coquille, Coos Bay, Ore.
HUD officials are investigation indications that a former professional-football player, one-sixteenth Coquille, used some of a $7.8 million grant for improper and/or illegal purposes.
Owens Valley, Big Pine, Calif.
The housing authority gave 78 low-income homebuyers their deeds 10 years early, refunded $350,000 in payments they'd already made and allotted $20,000 per house in HUD money for improvements. The lucky group included three housing commissioners.
Fort McDowell, Fountain Hills, Ariz.
Their casino is so successful that tribal members, who get an average of $3,000 a month in profit-sharing, no longer need their housing authority. So the agency is phasing itself out by selling 64 low-income houses for $1 each forgiving roughly $1.1 million owed in monthly payments and back rent.
Pascua Yaqui, Tucson, Ariz.
The housing authority was juggling $15 million in development grants and $6 million in rehabilitation money without the staff, policies or plans to ensure it was spent properly. As a result, federal auditors say, staff and board members' families received cash to pay for improvements on their HUD-financed homes that never took place; over-income relatives of staff received low-income homes, and repair money was used for everything from deluxe refrigerators to walled patios to home-phone bills.
Hopi, Second Mesa, Ariz.
Charges of mismanagement and theft at the housing authority delayed housing projects and caused tribal strife for two years. HUD's inspector general is now investigating, and the executive director was fired in September.
Northern Pueblos, Santa Fe, N.M.
Money intended for rehabilitation of low-income homes in disrepair went to the home of the housing-board chairman, whose salary is twice the state average. Remodeling contracts went to friends of both the board chairman and the housing authority's director.
All Indian Pueblos, Albuquerque, N.M.
An umbrella housing authority representing 10 tribes has deteriorated to a point where employees and member tribes are leaving. While the housing authority's director feuded with HUD officials, projects went on hold in a state that has some of the worst Indian housing in the nation.
Rocky Mountain, Denver, Colo.
Federal auditors have found a serious problem with cash controls at Indian-housing authorities throughout the Rocky Mountain district. Eleven of 12 flunked spot-checks because they had cash shortages or were highly susceptible to internal thievery.
Southern Ute, Ignacio, Colo.
HUD gave the tribe and its housing authority more money than it could handle eight grants totaling $6.7 million over just three years for houses, hotel renovations at its casino complex, and water and sewer lines. Long delays resulted in the money sitting idle for years although it was badly needed elsewhere.
Otoe-Missouria, Red Rock, Okla.
The housing authority took advantage of a new loophole to give away 20 houses built with a $1.3 million grant. People on the waiting list were bounced, and the houses went to housing-authority staff, board members and their families.
Absentee Shawnee, Shawnee, Okla.
A housing-authority official divided $466,000 in HUD rehabilitation work into 27 small contracts, most of which went to four favored firms without advertised bidding.
Omaha, Macy, Neb.
The housing authority's former executive director ran a private loan business out of the office, while basic controls on agency cash and assets were lacking. For example, the son of an employee bought two trucks but never paid for them, and the authority continued to pay the insurance on the vehicles for months.
Sisseton-Wahpeton Sioux, Sisseton, S.D.
The tribal-housing authority is riddled with charges of misuse of HUD money. Meanwhile, a tribal leader has been indicted in a scandal involving excess government property.
White Earth Band of Chippewa, White Earth, Minn.
The tribal chairman and two aides were convicted in federal court in June of conspiracy, theft, embezzlement, bribery and money-laundering involving casino operations. HUD is discovering that housing money is missing and homes are in disrepair.
Bois Forte, Nett Lake, Minn.
HUD declared the housing authority a "high risk" 18 months ago, because tenants owed more than $100,000 in back rent on 94 housing units and a $438,370 rehabilitation project sat idle for years. The executive director said she has rarely seen anyone from the agency since.
St. Croix Chippewa, Hertel, Wis.
The housing authority received $5.6 million over five years, despite lacking basic financial controls. Using HUD's automated telephone-withdrawal system, the authority took nearly half a million dollars more than it needed and kept the money in a non-interest-bearing account insured for just $100,000. Development money was misspent on a variety of things, from restaurant meals to apartment buildings. The tribe also is lax in collecting monthly payments from tenants and homebuyers.
Keweenaw Bay, Chocolay Township, Mich.
A tribe won trust status for a new piece of property by telling federal regulators it was only for low-income HUD housing, then built a casino and bingo hall on subdivision land that was designated for a playground. Meanwhile, it has received $464,324 for home repairs with little to show for the money.
Mowa Band of Choctaw, Mount Vernon, Ala.
The housing authority for the new, state-chartered tribe, which requires a tiny amount of Indian blood, had money woes and management problems since its inception, yet HUD gave it large development grants three years running. The authority covered cost overruns on the first project with money for the second, then covered that shortfall with the third grant. By the time HUD turned off the spigot, it had poured $5.6 million into the poorly run authority.
Mashantucket Pequot, Ledyard, Conn.
The tribe with a casino reputed to clear $1 million a day is finishing work on the last of 15 large homes financed with a $1.5 million, low-income housing grant even though it no longer has any low-income families.
Narragansett, Charlestown, R.I.
A dozen new, low-income houses sit empty a year and a half after they were built because HUD released a $3.8 million grant for the housing authority to buy and build on nonreservation land without getting the proper local, state and federal clearances.
Pleasant Point Passamaquoddy, Perry, Maine
The housing authority's executive director sold her agency a home for $85,000, collected $15,000 for "horse relocation" and moved into her father's low-income house &$151; using the profits to renovate and expand it in a structure commonly referred to as "the mansion."