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Issa Challenges Obama Housing Program

Republican lawmaker, Representative Darrell Issa is requesting an investigation into the Obama administration’s Hardest Hit Fund—a program directed at supporting homeowners, going through financial hardships, stay in their homes. The Hardest Hit Fund gives funds to state housing agencies to avoid foreclosures.

The $2.1 billion program which focuses on homeowners, in the 10 states most deeply affected by the housing market’s downward spiral, is going to be audited in order to determine if the Treasury, within sound reason, distributed funds and followed protocol to prevent waste, fraud and abuse.

Issa announced recently his desire to have the program’s investigation be lead by Neil Barofsky, who serves as Special Inspector General for the Treasury’s Troubled Asset Relief Program. Initially, Barofsky told Issa he felt it might be too soon to investigate the effectiveness of the program.

“As with other foreclosure-mitigation programs, taxpayers are in the dark about how their money will be spent,” said Issa, who incidentally remains one of the wealthiest (worth reportedly, in the neighborhood of, $251 million) members of Congress.

Back in February, President Obama announced a $1.5 billion program with a specific focus to aid homeowners in California, Michigan, Florida, Arizona and Nevada. A month later, $600 million more was added in order to expand the support to Oregon, North and South Carolina, Rhode Island and Ohio.

Earlier this year, Project on Government Oversight, a government watchdog group, awarded Issa with a Good Government Award for his work in trying to get the government to be more “transparent” and open. He grabbed a great deal of attention for blowing whistles on the New York Fed.