Click to read HUD Mandatory Meal Program

Saturday, April 20, 2019

The "designated smoking area" in our HUD Senior Community is just outside the DOOR OF THE DINING ROOM. It's not by feet. It's directly outside the door.

The tenants and staff use it.

Per the HUD no-smoking policy

"The smoke-free policy must also extend to all outdoor areas up to 25 feet from the public housing and administrative office buildings. This rule improves indoor air quality in the housing; benefits the healthy of public housing residents, visitors, and PHA staff; reduces the risk of catastrophic fires; and lowers overall maintenance costs.

Dates: Effective date February 2, 2017"

Non-smoking laws in CO

Section 25-14-204 (1) (cc), C.R.S., prohibits smoking in the entryways of all buildings and facilities listed (including the common areas of retirement facilities, publicly owned housing facilities, public and private buildings, condominiums, and other multiple-unit residential facilities). Section 25-14-203 (7), C.R.S., defines the term "entryway" and specifies that it includes the area of public or private property within a specified radius outside of the doorway. The specific radius may be set by local governments, but if a local government has not set a radius, the radius is 15 feet. Therefore, the permitted entryway radius could vary based on where in the state a particular residence is located. In Denver, the radius is 15 feet. However, in Lakewood, the radius is 25 feet.

The designated smoking area is a "common area," because tenants and staff co-mingle there. I'm sure the Resident Emergency Response Committee would find that interesting.

#Colorado #food #health #healthdepartment #HUD #HUDmandatorymealprogram #mandatorymealprogram #seniors #smoking

I know a LOT about the HUD no-smoking policy!

I was the person that started the campaign in 2013 to ban smoking in ALL HUD Housing by writing to ALL U.S. politicians!


Would you serve this bacon to anyone?

An elderly senior with heart problems?

Well, that's what they served us in our HUD senior community a couple of weeks ago. They actually expected us to eat it.

We live in a place that has a HUD Mandatory Meal Program.

We have to pay $263.89 per month for 24 meals a month. It's mandated.

If we don't use our entire meal ticket we don't get the money back, nor do they roll the money over to next month. They tell us that they get to keep it.

Would you be mad if your loved one was being robbed of sometimes $150 per month?

How about 150 tenants being robbed of that? That would make $24,000 PER MONTH!?! How about 150 tenants being robbed of that per year? That would make $288,000 PER YEAR?!?!? How would you feel if HUD were stealing that kind of money from your loved one? An elderly person? A disabled person?

Would you not want to do something about it?

We say "Abolish the HUD Mandatory Meal Program and put those monies towards something else, like food stamps?" That way we could buy our own food and eat healthy.

#food #health #healthdepartment #HUD #HUDmandatorymealprogram #mandatorymealprogram #seniors


Saturday, April 6, 2019

Went down to the kitchen for ice cream for my cat.

I got my ice cream and took this picture of it, because it had a hole in it.

The deli worker saw me taking the picture, so I showed it to her.

I said, "I don't know if others have holes in them, but I don't think you should be selling them."

Her response was, "That's the way they came out of the box."

No excuse in my book. They shouldn't be selling them to anyone. It's unsanitary.

We're seniors and MANY of us have health problems and they're selling us damaged goods.

I offered to go through the ones that were in the freezer, but she said she would.

From Dangers of old ice cream

Food-borne illness or food poisoning is the primary danger of eating outdated ice cream; but the date on the container is not the only information you need to decide whether old ice cream is safe to eat. It also matters how long ago it was purchased, when it was opened and how safely it has been stored. How long does ice cream last? Read on to find out more.

Does Ice Cream Go Bad?

If you're wondering, "Does ice cream expire?" the answer is, unfortunately, yes. Bacterial contamination is the main danger posed by old ice cream. Foods spoiled by bacteria — which may look, smell and taste just fine — can make us sick.

Bacteria thrive in protein-rich foods that are also full of water including eggs, poultry, meat, fish and milk products. Freezing ice cream and other frozen dairy products slows bacterial growth but doesn't kill the bacteria, which begin to grow again as food thaws. The risk of food-borne illness increases after ice cream has been opened and used. Discard any ice cream that thaws completely, due to the danger of bacterial growth.

Risk of Food-Borne Illness

One potential risk of expired ice cream is the risk of contamination and food-borne illness. People most vulnerable to food-borne illnesses are those already seriously ill or who have compromised immune systems. Young children, pregnant women and seniors are also more vulnerable.

Symptoms of food borne illnesses, which often go unreported, usually resemble stomach flu — fever, nausea, abdominal cramps, vomiting dehydration and diarrhea — and may last just a few hours or several days. Illness may be mild or very serious, depending on the bacteria involved.

Food Safety When Buying Ice Cream

Buy ice cream, ice milk, frozen yogurt and sherbet by the date stamped on the carton, which is the “sell by” date. Make sure that ice cream and other frozen desserts are frozen solid and that the container is not frosted or sticky, an indication that it has partially thawed at some point.

Request that ice cream be wrapped in an insulated bag or double bagged to reduce melting on the way home. True ice cream connoisseurs might want to bring an insulated cooler in the car, to keep it as cold as possible in transit.

How Long Does Ice Cream Last?

How long is old ice cream good for? Ice cream that hasn’t been opened can be safely stored at home at zero degrees Fahrenheit for up to two months. If you plan to store ice cream for longer than a month, wrap the carton with plastic wrap or freezer paper to preserve the ice cream’s quality.

Once the container has been opened it can be safely stored for two to three weeks before being considered “old" (though for creamy texture and overall quality try to use it within seven to 10 days). Place plastic wrap over the ice cream’s surface, inside the container, to protect texture and minimize the development of ice crystals.

#food #health #healthdepartment #HUD #HUDmandatorymealprogram #icecream #mandatorymealprogram #seniors


Monday, March 18, 2019

Open letter to Presidential Candidates, politicians, HUD locations, those that are concerned about others getting fed healthy foods, especially seniors,

When you become President I hope you put some effort into abolishing the HUD Mandatory Meal Program.

It's robbing the already financially challenged of up to $150 PER MONTH.

It's also unhealthy. One of our meal choices recently was a grilled bologna sandwich. We had to pay $10 for it.

They recently raised the price of the HUD Mandatory Meal Program and then cut the number of meals back to 24 per month. They no longer serve us supper and we get cold cuts on the weekends. The cafeteria has been closed abruptly 4 times in the last month, but we don't get credit for missed meals. We were also out of luck when it came to getting fed.

We pay $264 PER MONTH to eat unhealthy, processed food that is bad for those with heart conditions, diabetes, etc. All conditions many of us have.

Financial advisor Dave Ramsey says people should only spend 10-15% of their income on food. On the HUD Mandatory Meal Program most of us pay 36%.

That's just WRONG!

If we don't use all of our allotted $264 per month meal ticket we don't get it refunded, nor does it roll over to the next month. HUD keeps it.

I tried to get off the Meal Program, but they refused me, even with 29 pages worth of medical records including 250 food/medication/environmental allergies.

Some of us want to move, but we can't save money, because we have to pay for this program. The waiting lists to get on other housing is 1-5 years as it is, but it would be nice to be able to save so we could pay the housing deposit and then to move.

Worried about us getting something to eat?

Don't worry. There are PLENTY of meal programs that will deliver free food and the local grocers don't charge that much to deliver pre-made or food that needs to be cooked. It's LESS than what we're paying now.

I believe the building where I live needs to have their ENTIRE accounting department investigated!

They co-mingle ALL the rent, telephone and HUD Mandatory Meal Program monies together.

They're even known to take those monies and take the seniors on a bus to various activities. I wonder if HUD knew that the seniors here are OFTEN taken to a brewery to drink alcohol?


What would you do if your loved one was being ROBBED of $150 per month?

Add it up with all the people paying for it. That makes it Felony theft, all at the hands of the HUD Mandatory Meal Program.

I am disabled, as are many where I live.

The last time I lived in Public Housing I fought 3 years to abolish smoking in the buildings. That became law and went into effect in 2018.

My next project is to abolish the HUD Mandatory Meal Program so people aren't being robbed and can get healthier.

ABOLISH the HUD Mandatory Meal Program


Saturday, March 2, 2019

9NEWS investigation inspires Colorado bill to protect elderly

The bill, in its current introduced form, would make the crimes a felony.

Thank you to 9New Investigative Reporter Jeremy Jojola, Representative Bri Buentello and Senator Jessie Danielson.

From 9NEWS investigation inspires Colorado bill to protect elderly
The bill, in its current introduced form, would make the crimes a felony

DENVER - A 9NEWS investigation into at-risk adults stuck in hospitals has inspired a Colorado lawmaker to draft new legislation.

Colorado Senator Jessie Danielson (D-Jefferson County) has introduced a bill that would criminalize the abandonment and confinement of at-risk adults and elderly. The bill, in its current introduced form, would make the crimes a felony.

This new bill is about protecting senior citizens and people with disabilities from some really horrific treatment,” Senator Danielson said. “Currently, law enforcement doesn’t have the tools they need to crack down on this kind of abuse.”

Danielson said she was inspired by the 9Wants to Know investigation called STRANDED which found on any given day in Denver, there are dozens of at-risk adults stuck in hospitals because they’ve been abandoned by their caretakers.

When I see individuals suffering like this, it’s up to us to come here to the Capitol and pass some measures to protect some of Colorado’s most vulnerable citizens,” Danielson said.

Another bill that would help establish a guardianship program for “unfriended” at-risk adults is also making its way through the Capitol. Lawmakers cited the 9NEWS investigation during their discussions about the currently defunct Office of Public Guardianship. The new bill could potentially fund the office that would help establish guardians for at-risk adults.

As part of the investigation, 9Wants to Know profiled the story of Jerry Ellingsen, a man with Alzheimer's Disease who was sent on a one-way flight to Denver after he was abandoned by his family. Ellingsen then spent six-months alone in a local hospital because nobody would pick him up.

See also:

Man with Alzheimer’s sent on one-way flight to Denver among scores of patients stranded in hospitals


9NEWS investigation inspires lawmakers to help at-risk adults

#9News #abuse #Alzheimers #Colorado #dementia #elderly #investigation #law #legal


#9News #abuse #Colorado #elderly #investigation #law #legal

I live in public housing in Colorado. I am disabled.

Carbon monoxide is killing public housing residents, but HUD doesn't require detectors.

My suggestion...get rid of the HUD Mandatory Meal Program and put the money into getting carbon monoxide detectors.

How about HUD take the money they have targeted for employees that work providing the Mandatory Meal Program and put it into carbon monoxide detectors?

The food we're being served where I live CERTAINLY isn't healthy, especially taking into consideration my 250 food/medication/environmental allergies.

Those that are mandated to pay for the meal program could save LOTS of money paying for their own food from the store.

Sure, HUD won't be able to keep the profits they make off the program, because if people haven't spent their entire meal ticket monies HUD gets to keep it.

They don't refund the monies to the tenants.

HUD doesn't allow, or in Colorado, us to install our own CO detector. We even have to sign a lease stating we won't make modifications to our apartment otherwise we face possible eviction.

To see what community service I've done, visit

Also see

I survived carbon monoxide exposure incident (CLICK HERE TO READ ABOUT IT). My landlord at the time (not HUD) was ANGRY that I called the fire department. He was more concerned if they found something he would have to pay to repair than he was about what the exposure had done to me.

From Carbon monoxide is killing public housing residents, but HUD doesn't require detectors - by Suzy Khimm and Laura Strickler

COLUMBIA, S.C. — KinTerra Johnson and her three young children had to flee their apartment at 3 a.m. on a cold January night, or else risk losing their lives.

Two of their neighbors were already dead from carbon monoxide poisoning. Emergency officials found dangerously high levels of the gas throughout the Allen Benedict Court public housing complex near downtown Columbia, where more than 400 people lived, nearly all African American, including more than 140 children and many elderly residents in frail health.

Johnson’s three children — 8, 5 and 3 years old — saw flashing lights surrounding the building.

“Open up, it’s the fire chief!” the firefighters said, banging on Johnson’s door. When they came in, her children burst into tears. “The kids were scared to see the guys in the Hazmat suits — they looked like monsters to them,” said Johnson, 27, a single mother who works in an insurance office.

The health and safety hazards are so severe that Johnson and her neighbors can’t return home. After the two residents were found dead on Jan. 17, inspectors found high levels of carbon monoxide and natural gas inside all 26 buildings at the complex, as well as missing and broken smoke alarms, exposed wires, roach infestations, damaged ceilings and a “high volume of rodent droppings,” according to a letter from the fire department obtained by NBC News.

None of the apartments had carbon monoxide detectors, local authorities found. In fact, public housing is not required to have them under federal law: While all rental housing subsidized by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development must have smoke detectors, the federal government does not have the same requirement for carbon monoxide detectors.

NBC News has found 11 deaths from carbon monoxide poisoning in HUD housing since 2003, based on local news reports.

Public housing residents are particularly vulnerable to carbon monoxide. High levels of the gas are more likely to harm the very young and the very old, and most of the 4.6 million families receiving HUD rental assistance are elderly, disabled or families with young children. Acute exposure to the gas can cause permanent brain damage, among other long-term health problems, and at high levels it can kill in minutes.

But despite the clear hazards of carbon monoxide, HUD has been slow to act, public health experts and housing advocates say. HUD’s efforts to tighten federal carbon monoxide protections have been mired in a confusing patchwork of federal inspection standards and a slow-moving effort to reform them, according to an NBC News review of federal protocols and interviews with more than a dozen housing officials, industry groups and public health experts.

Outdated, crumbling public housing may be putting the country’s poorest families at even higher risk. Allen Benedict is among thousands of decrepit, hazardous HUD properties with a backlog of sorely needed maintenance; some 10,000 units are lost every year due to disrepair, HUD says. Though the exact cause of January’s incident is still under investigation, faulty appliances and inadequate ventilation are among the most common causes of deadly carbon monoxide buildup. Even before January’s tragedy, Allen Benedict Court — one of South Carolina’s oldest public housing developments, less than two miles from the state Capitol — was already slated to be bulldozed and redeveloped, though the project was delayed by a lack of funds.

Rehabilitating public housing across the country is a mammoth, costly task. In New York City alone, the housing authority estimated last year that it needed $25 billion to fix faulty boilers, elevators, plumbing and other problems. But some solutions are far cheaper and simpler: A battery-operated carbon monoxide detector costs as little as $20 and could save lives, public health experts say.

HUD spokesman Brian Sullivan described the Allen Benedict deaths as a tragedy, and said the agency was considering changes to the entire HUD building inspection process, including new requirements related to carbon monoxide. He suggested, however, that focusing on HUD’s role was misguided.

“It is easier to pin the tail on the federal donkey than to hold the actual housing providers accountable for what goes on in the buildings,” he said.

As the owner of Allen Benedict Court, the Columbia Housing Authority had primary responsibility for making sure the property was safe. In South Carolina, as well as the city of Columbia, the housing code requires carbon monoxide detectors in bedrooms that have fuel-fired appliances, including heaters.

In the wake of January’s deaths, the head of the Columbia Housing Authority, Gil Walker, announced that he would be retiring. “Mr. Walker made it clear that he’s responsible,” said Cynthia Hardy, a spokesperson for the housing authority. Hardy noted, however, that the housing authority worked “in partnership with HUD,” which repeatedly gave the property high marks for health and safety.

“HUD came in to our units in 2017, and CO detectors were never mentioned,” Walker said in early February. He said he was unaware that the authority’s properties, including Allen Benedict, were required to have carbon monoxide detectors under local law.

Local oversight is limited: Columbia officials don’t conduct regular health and safety inspections of public housing, which is federally funded. Instead, it’s up to HUD to inspect the properties regularly, and HUD does not require carbon monoxide detectors.

HUD “should be leading the charge, they should be setting the gold standard,” said Emily Benfer, a visiting associate clinical professor of law at Columbia University in New York, who researches environmental health hazards. “But they are negligent, and they are putting people in danger.”


Johnson and other residents say they complained for months — in some cases years — about malfunctioning heat, stoves and ovens in the aging Allen Benedict property, which was built in the 1930s and relies on natural gas. But without carbon monoxide detectors, residents had no immediate way of knowing their lives were at risk.

Known as “the silent killer,” carbon monoxide is colorless, tasteless and odorless. Each year, about 50,000 people in the U.S. visit the emergency room because of accidental carbon monoxide poisoning, and 430 die, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Those exposed to high doses may experience dizziness, nausea and confusion, but the symptoms can be hard to recognize and easy to misdiagnose. HUD itself recommends that the general public install carbon monoxide detectors near bedrooms.

HUD says that all properties must comply with state and local laws. But only about half of states require carbon monoxide detectors, and some only require them upon sale of the property. And states mostly rely on local governments to enforce housing codes. South Carolina, for instance, updated its fire code in 2016 to require carbon monoxide detectors in residences, but says “it is up to the locals to enforce in most local buildings,” said Lesia Shannon Kudelka, a spokesperson for the state government.

In Columbia, as in many other cities, local officials say they don’t have the funding or staff to conduct regular health and safety inspections.

“Because they’re under the auspices of HUD, we would not inspect them unless they had complaints,” said Tameika Isaac Devine, a Columbia City Council member and mayor pro tem. “We don’t have enough code inspectors.”

HUD last inspected Allen Benedict in September 2017, and the complex passed with flying colors, receiving 86 points out of 100, a score so high that the property would have two years until its next inspection. The property also received passing grades during its 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2016 HUD inspections. Those scores meant that the federal government did not see any problems significant enough to require immediate enforcement action against the Columbia Housing Authority, a public corporation.

HUD’s inspection reports for Allen Benedict identified only a small number of health and safety violations at the property, the vast majority of which were deemed “non-life-threatening.” During three HUD inspections — in 2014, 2016 and 2017 — the property got points off for peeling paint, clogged drains and overgrown vegetation, among other problems, according to HUD documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request.

There were few deductions for serious violations — and no points off for missing carbon monoxide detectors in the building where the two men died, or anywhere else in the facility, because HUD did not require them in the first place.


The deaths in Columbia are not an isolated incident. In 2013, a 77-year-old woman died in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, from carbon monoxide poisoning in her HUD-subsidized studio apartment, which did not have a detector. In 2008, three residents died in an Oklahoma City public housing complex that also did not have detectors. At least seven other residents of public housing or HUD-subsidized private homes have died since 2003, including a married couple in McKeesport, Pennsylvania, and a 61-year-old man in Indiana.

In some cases, carbon monoxide deaths in low-income housing resulted in court fines or settlements with the local housing authorities, but they have also prompted legislative action: Maryland passed a law in 2007 requiring CO alarms in newly constructed properties, then passed another measure in April 2018 requiring them in all rental units.

On the federal level, however, efforts to strengthen health and safety standards in public housing have been slow-moving, with few concrete steps taken over the past two years, housing experts and observers say.

Currently, federal inspectors look for damage to water heaters or ventilation systems, which can lead to a carbon monoxide buildup. But federal carbon monoxide standards are weakest for buildings owned and managed by public housing authorities, like Allen Benedict: HUD neither requires carbon monoxide detectors, nor checks if they are working properly in these properties, which house 1.2 million families. HUD is now considering stronger CO standards as part of a broader overhaul of a flawed inspection system. But the agency hasn’t committed to any specific changes to reduce carbon monoxide hazards.

Section 8 apartments, which are subsidized by HUD but owned by private landlords, face somewhat stronger rules. A 2016 housing law passed by Congress says that an “inoperable or missing carbon monoxide detector, where required” in Section 8 units, would be considered a life-threatening condition that must be resolved immediately.

Industry groups and public health experts say that language is perplexing and incomplete, as it does not explicitly require detectors to be installed. “It’s so vague,” said Arlene Conn, a policy analyst at the Public Housing Authorities Directors Association. “If you must have a CO detector, state it more definitively, or else there is confusion.”

“Each program is held to a different program standard, and there are big discrepancies,” said Benfer, the Columbia law professor. “Our country is founded on the idea that every life is equal.”

But a push to require carbon monoxide detectors in all public housing without deeper investments in improvements would face resistance from industry groups, including the Public Housing Authorities Directors Association, which opposes new requirements unless Congress appropriates more funding. For housing authorities, “it could be if you spend that money and put those in every unit, you can’t fix some plumbing issue that means they don’t have water,” Conn said. “You may be making horrible choices.”

HUD acknowledges that its health and safety standards need to be updated to better protect residents: It currently requires CO detectors as part of a pilot program for a small percentage of Section 8 units.

We know carbon monoxide can kill — we know that it has killed,” said Sullivan, the HUD spokesman, referring to the Columbia deaths. "Our examination of this issue predates this horrible tragedy.”

When asked why the agency wasn’t moving faster on the issue, given the potentially fatal consequences, HUD said the pace of change was typical of the agency.

“Things happen incrementally on every issue we’ve ever worked on,” Sullivan said.


Derrick Roper, 30, lived in a one-story brick building at Allen Benedict Court, behind one of the property’s many swing sets. It was just a short walk from his apartment to Benedict College, the historically black school where he was a maintenance worker.

Roper was soft-spoken but always eager to help his neighbors, said resident Toddrica Smith. “He helped people with their yards, he watched for the kids.” He grew up with so many nephews and nieces that his family nickname was “Brother/Uncle,” his relatives said.

In mid-January, Roper suddenly stopped showing up to work. Campus police came to his home on Jan. 17, and when the property manager opened the door, they found his body on the floor outside of the bathroom, according to a police report obtained by an NBC News affiliate.

As he was leaving Roper’s apartment, the property manager learned that Roper’s 61-year-old neighbor also hadn’t been seen for several days, the police report said. When the officers entered Calvin Witherspoon Jr.’s apartment, two doors down from Roper, they found his body on the bed.

The fire department responded and found dangerous quantities of carbon monoxide, hydrogen and cyanide gas in the building, mostly emanating from the apartment in between Roper and Witherspoon, according to the police report. That apartment belonged to Robert Ballard, who had called emergency responders twice the day before, according to Ballard’s attorney, Ron Stanley.

Ballard made the first call in the middle of the night on Jan. 16, after his cousin, who was staying with him, stumbled into his bedroom and collapsed, Stanley said. “He’s not waking up,” Ballard told the 911 responder, according to a recording obtained through a FOIA request by NBC News. “He’s bleeding out the ears. … Lord have mercy.”

A few hours later, Ballard called 911 again — for himself. “My eyes are fluttering, and I’m bleeding,” he told responders. Ballard and his cousin were seen at a hospital, his attorney said — but no one suspected carbon monoxide poisoning until the next day, when his two neighbors were found dead.

Ballard could have died as well, Stanley said: “Had it not been for the cousin stumbling into his room, he would have slept through the whole thing, and probably never would have awakened.”

Ballard is now suing the Columbia Housing Authority, as is Roper’s family and five other residents, all alleging that management failed to maintain the property and exposed them to dangerous conditions.

Witherspoon’s daughter, Dani Washington, is also planning legal action against the housing authority “and all others responsible” for her father’s death, said her attorney, Douglas Desjardins.

“Everyone took the shortest way out, and this is what happened,” Washington, 27, said. “I want justice for my dad.”

Nicknamed “Big Man,” Witherspoon loved fishing, building model cars and doting on his 12 grandchildren, Washington said. Her father suffered a stroke in the early 2000s that forced him to quit his construction job, but he never lost his sunny disposition. “He’d talk to anybody,” she said.

More than a dozen residents who spoke to NBC News say that basic health and safety hazards at Allen Benedict went unaddressed for years — contrary to HUD’s high 2017 score for the property. In 2018, emergency responders responded to seven calls at the property about suspicious odors, according to the Columbia Fire Chief Aubrey Jenkins. “That stuff didn’t happen overnight,” he said. (While gas leaks are distinct from carbon monoxide leaks, faulty appliances can produce both, fire officials said.)

While it’s not the fire department’s job to conduct routine inspections of federally funded public housing, the recent deaths have prompted the department to inspect all multifamily public housing in the city, despite limited resources. Local authorities decided they couldn’t rely on HUD’s own inspections to protect residents.

Fire officials will notify the city if there are local code violations, and the city will impose fines if hazards are not fixed, according to Devine, the City Council member, who describes the absence of federal requirements for CO detectors as “a gross oversight on behalf of HUD."

“It’s very necessary for us to make sure we step in,” Jenkins said. But more local oversight will come at a cost, he said: “It’s definitely going to put a strain on us.”


Allen Benedict has been vacant for more than a month now, overtaken by feral cats, roaches and the smell of rotting meat from freezers that have been unplugged. Children’s toys, wheelchairs and shopping carts full of cans litter residents’ yards. Flowers and a blue candle are still sitting on Witherspoon’s doorstep.

Toddrica Smith, 29, recently returned to pick up more clothes for herself and her 10-year-old son. She pointed out the long-festering problems: The ceiling was crumbling, the bathroom walls were covered in black mold and water had been dripping from the kitchen’s electrical sockets. One of the smoke detectors has been broken since she moved there in 2012, she said, despite visits from federal housing inspectors.

HUD’s Inspector General is conducting its own investigation into Allen Benedict to determine what went wrong and what the federal government’s responsibility might have been.

“It all ties back to one thing — the backlog of unmet capital needs that has just grown exponentially over the past decades,” said Tim Kaiser, executive director of the Public Housing Authorities Directors Association, referring to carbon monoxide hazards in HUD housing.

For years, local officials have been trying to redevelop Allen Benedict, which was “at the top of the list for demolition” in 2017, according to City Council member Ed McDowell. That year, however, the Columbia Housing Authority instead chose to raze another aging HUD property and didn’t have the funds to demolish and rebuild Allen Benedict as well. Last year, local officials asked HUD for a $30 million grant for the project. Despite a personal appeal by the mayor to HUD Secretary Ben Carson, the agency rejected the city’s request in early February, two weeks after Roper and Witherspoon were found dead.

The local housing authority is still planning to raze Allen Benedict and build something better — and safer — in its place. But none of the residents will be returning anytime soon: They all have HUD vouchers to find new homes, which is a struggle in an area that’s already facing a serious shortage of affordable housing.

Johnson has spent the past month scrambling to find a new place to live while working full-time and finishing her associate’s degree. Every day, her children ask why they can’t go back home. “They think it’s something we can clean up,” she said.

Like many other Allen Benedict parents, Johnson worries about the long-term impact on her children’s health. Acute exposure to carbon monoxide is difficult to diagnose because people’s oxygen levels can return to normal quickly after exposure, but it can cause permanent neurological problems, as well as an elevated risk of heart disease, said Dr. Mark Gladwin, chair of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. “The cases are just so heartbreaking, and it’s totally preventable,” Gladwin said.

Benfer, the Columbia professor, compared the long-term impact to lead poisoning.

“The federal regulations are lagging behind best practices,” she said. “If we don’t start investing in healthy housing and these programs, it will cost people their lives or permanently alter them for the worse — especially for kids.”

When she moved into Allen Benedict last year, after five years on the waiting list, Johnson said that the housing authority warned her about lead poisoning, mold and mildew, but made no mention of carbon monoxide.

“I knew it was a gas, but I didn’t know it was a gas that could kill us,” Johnson said. “We could've woke up and the whole community could've been gone — like, just wiped out.”

More than a month after her father’s death, Witherspoon’s daughter still reflexively dials his number when she wakes up some mornings, only to be sent to voicemail.

“He lost his life to something that could have been prevented,” Washington said. “My dad was not an animal for them to treat that way.”

#carbonmonoxide #housing #HUD #killing #mandatorymealprogram #murder #renters #tenants


Saturday, February 23, 2019

HUD Mandatory Meal Program Guidelines

The HUD Mandatory Meal Program is a program that is supposed to help those in low-income housing be fed at an affordable price.

Low-income housing costs 30% of one's income.

The HUD Mandatory Meal Program where I live is 36% of my income, $264.

That leaves me 34% of my income to pay the rest of my bills (e.g. medical, transportation, clothing, etc).

Financial Advisor Dave Ramsey suggests that one's food budget be 10-15% of one's income.

If we don't use up our $264 meal ticket per month, we forfeit our monies to HUD/our landlord. To me, that's a ripoff. It's a ripoff to seniors.

The MAJORITY of the foods they serve are high-fat, processed, fried and just plain unhealthy.

Some of us have tried to get off the Meal Program by submitting our medical records, but our landlord denies us each time. I even submitted 29 pages of medical records, including 250 food/medication/environmental allergy records.

They recently raised the prices, then cut back the number of meals, then shut down the cafeteria on weekends. They only serve cold cuts on the weekends in their grab and go. The sandwiches cost $7.

Then they cut the hours of the cafeteria to serve meals from 11a to 3pm. Monday through Friday No more dinner meals served.

Now they shut the cafeteria at the drop of a hat and don't notify the tenants. That just allows HUD/the landlord to keep even more of our monies at the end of the month.

We could eat far BETTER buying our own food. Our health and our finances would be far better too.

Move you say? Well, it's difficult to save the money to move when we have to pay so much for the HUD Mandatory Meal Program.

This meal program needs to be abolished.

#abuse #budget #diet #elderly #expenses #financial #food #foodstamps #health #healthy #HUD #government #lowincome #lowincomesenior #mandatorymealprogram #politician #politicians #seniors #SNAP


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Great books for senior health

Great books about senior living


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HUD Mandatory Meal Program Guidelines

From HUD Mandatory Meal Program Guidelines (CLICK HERE TO READ IT IN FULL) 4...

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Community Service

To see what community service I've done, visit

Look for GREAT resources at bottom of page.

Look for GREAT resources at bottom of page.

Seniors pay over 35% on food in HUD housing

Financial crimes against the elderly

Low Income Housing Colorado

Low Income Housing Playlist

Instagram - Mandatorymeals

Former HUD Secretary Julian Castro

I FULLY support his efforts, especially his efforts to now become our President in 2020.

Churches are helping solve the affordable housing crisis

Changing Laws (Affiliate Link)

Hug Coupon (Affiliate Link)

This is God (Affiliate Link)