Congressman Holding blasts Raleigh Housing Authority in U.S. House budget discussion

06/10/2014 2:17 PM

02/15/2015 11:26 AM

U.S. Rep. George Holding took to the House floor on Monday to criticize Raleigh Housing Director Steve Beam’s salary and call for further curbs on public housing pay.

In a two-minute speech during congressional budget deliberations, Holding points to what he calls “excessively generous compensation packages” paid to housing directors nationwide, citing Raleigh as an example.

The Raleigh Republican referenced a salary study conducted by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development that listed Beam as the fifth-highest paid public housing director in the country. Holding noted that the study ranks about 400th nationwide by housing authority size.

“It certainly raises some red flags to me,” Holding said.

Holding also wasn’t happy with efforts by the Raleigh Housing Authority board to limit Beam’s use of comp time. He’d been logging additional hours beyond a 7.5-hour workday and using them to take full days off, sometimes to attend magic conventions. Beam got a new contract that only lets him earn comp time for working weekends and holidays.

Holding said the contract “amounts to cosmetic changes to their compensation practices that still flaunt Congress’s intent, in my opinion.”

The new contract doesn’t change Beam’s total compensation, which reached $272,040 last year.

Holding thanked his fellow lawmakers for a budget provision that caps federal funding a housing director’s salary at no more than $155,500. The Raleigh Housing Authority, however, uses non-federal revenue sources to pay the rest of Beam’s salary.

Holding says he’s hopeful “we can examine additional measures that Congress can take to ensure that public housing authorities serve the public,” though he offered no specifics.

Here’s the video of Holding’s speech:

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