- ‘Tis the Season: London florist creates $4.6 million Christmas wreath
- No tailgating allowed at Super Bowl XLVIII
- Pentagon to transport African troops to Central African Republic
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend’s shopping jumps to his death
- Ukraine leader to talk with protesters; Washington urges caution
- Pope Francis: A nun saved my life
- Israeli P.M. Netanyahu backs out of Mandela funeral
- Elian Gonzalez makes first trip outside Cuba since custody battle
- U.S., British intelligence agents enter online sci-fi world to spy on gamers
- Sarah Palin to host the outdoors show ‘Amazing America’
Report: DHS spends $600,000 to buy $100,000 homes
The Homeland Security Department spent $600,000 apiece to build houses in Arizona that would have gone for less than $100,000, according to a report in the Arizona Republic that's raising questions in Congress.
"This type of spending is irresponsible as our nation faces significant budget deficits and the men and women in the Border Patrol face cuts in overtime that are essential to their mission," Rep. Ron Barber, Arizona Democrat, said in a statement Friday.
The Republic said Homeland Security built 21 homes and bought 20 other mobile homes for $15 million. Comparable homes go for between $70,000 and $100,000, the paper said. The homes were built to be rented to border agents and officers.
Homeland Security officials repeatedly refused to answer the newspaper's questions about the project, the Republic said.
Mr. Barber is the ranking Democrat on the House Homeland Security Committee's oversight panel, and said he will use that role to get to the bottom of the spending.
Michael Friel, spokesperson for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, said they worked with the General Services Administration, which is in charge of government buildings, to buy the land and construct the homes, as well as to build roads and sewer and water lines for an additional 25 units. He said the homes has to be built because there wasn't enough rental housing in the area for border agents and officers.
"These homes have been constructed in line with federally mandated requirements, designed for long-term use with minimal maintenance in a harsh climate," Mr. Friel said.
He said the homes were built as Energy Star-rated homes and are 75 percent more efficient than the average homes in the area. The employees who use the homes pay rent in line with the local market.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Stephen Dinan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Federal deficit shrinks 20 percent in fiscal 2014
- Wind farms: Interior Department sacrifices eagle protection for alternative energy
- Activists urge Obama to go rogue, sidestep Congress
- Bipartisan House votes against 'patent trolls' who file lawsuits against innovators
- Bipartisan House votes to stop patent 'trolls'
Latest Blog Entries
By Tom Fitton
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend's shopping jumps to his death
- CURL: Obama tells a whopper on IRS scandal
- MSNBC host: Obamacare a 'wealthy white men' racist word
- WOLF: The president's other Obamacare lies
- Lawmakers see 'false narrative' of Obama as a terrorist fighter
- Ted Cruz sees legal landmines ahead for Obamacare
- MILLER: Brady Campaign says Colorado recalls due to NRA, not grassroots opposition to gun control
- Israeli P.M. Benjamin Netanyahu backs out of Nelson Mandela funeral
- Obama lied about Syrian chemical attack, 'cherry-picked' intelligence: report
- American bourbon now better than Scottish whiskey: U.K.-born expert
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Richard Ivory, editor-in-chief of Hip Hop Republicans and HHR at Communities Digital News, turns his interests, and pen, to the people making news today.
Find the latest news and happening that effect those in the Washington D.C., Northern Virginia and Maryland Metro region.
The world impacts us. What happens in our towns, cities, states, country and on this planet makes a difference to us.
Happiness is attainable. Morning to night. I love to teach, deal with folks that have an issue and really wish to tackle it and write.
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow