FOX 29 Investigates: Public Employee Lives In Low-Income Housing - FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV

FOX 29 Investigates: Public Employee Lives In Low-Income Housing

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Kathryn Blackshear is paid $82,000 a year as the Director of Resident Initiatives at the Housing Authority of Camden. She's also something else with the authority--a resident.

Blackshear earns $82,371, but lives in low income housing and, according to the authority, it's apparently all OK.

We wanted to ask her about it. When we knocked on her home Monday, nobody answered.  But apparently someone was home. A police officer, who approached us near Blackshear's home, said a woman, calling from Blackshear's address, alerted the cops.

With oversight from the federal government, the Authority houses nearly 1,800 low-income families in a city struggling with poverty and crime. Records provided to FOX 29 Investigates under New Jersey's Open Records Act, show the Authority has a waiting list of some 7,500 needy applicants.

Angel Cordero is a former candidate for Mayor of Camden and a leader in the Latino Community. Cordero said, "When you have people living on the streets in Camden and you earn that kind of money, you are taking advantage of the situation."

FOX 29 Investigates asked the Housing Authority, once Blackshear began to earn $82,000 a year, why didn't it simply tell her to move? The Authority told us, "The federal government doesn't require them to do that."

Maria Marquez, the Executive Director of the Housing Authority of Camden, declined to speak on camera.  In an e-mail the agency she wrote Blackshear takes part in either a family self sufficiency program, receives an earned income credit, or falls under the agency's effort to de-concentrate poverty. It would not say which program Blackshear falls under.

We also asked Camden Mayor Dana Redd to comment, but her spokesperson said she wouldn't. We asked the Mayor because she appointed Kathryn Blackshear to Camden's school board. Blackshear is now the president of the board.

According to the Housing Authority of Camden, Blackshear is not in violation of authority or federal housing rules. We asked the agency how much Blackshear pays to live in public housing. We have not received an answer.

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