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Charleston Housing Authority gets $536,277 in court win

Post and Courier


A federal court ruled in favor of the Charleston Housing Authority and 350 other public housing authorities last week after a four-year lawsuit against the federal government for a breach of contract.

The victory will help the Charleston agency maintain its more than 1,400 public housing units, said executive director Don Cameron.

In 2012, Congress approved a plan to fund the operating budget of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development with $750 million drawn from the reserve funds of certain public housing authorities. The government paid back those authorities only 80 percent of the money, so they sued to reclaim their full shares.

As a part of the $138 million judgement, the Charleston Housing Authority will receive $536,277 – essentially a refund of what was originally taken from its reserve funds.

Cameron said Wednesday he will know better when those funds will be awarded after another hearing on Feb 17. The authority expects to use the money over the next six months for property improvements, he added. Any money not spent this year would go to a restricted reserve fund.

“We will use it to supplement our capital projects, which is great news, because if you own property, you know there’s always one more thing you’ve got to do,” he said.

Reach Robert Behre at 843-937-5771 or via Twitter @RobertFBehre.

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A message from our President/Chief Executive Officer:

The Housing Authority of the City of Charleston was born of action on December 18, 1934 by a vote of the Charleston City Council. However, the actual permission for such a "creation" came via statute in the South Carolina General Assembly in March of 1934.

We have come a long way in our society, our City and our personal relationships. Nevertheless, the need for Public housing still exists today. We have so much more to do before we can truly say, the job is done.

Donald J. Cameron
President/Chief Executive Officer
Housing Authority of the City of Charleston