Councilman Brown Wants DHCD Probe

1/29/2012, 10:11 p.m.

At-Large Council member Michael Brown has called for an investigation of the District Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), citing possible "unethical behavior and possible criminal malfeasance and collusion between contractors and current and former employees."

At issue is the youth outreach organization, Peaceoholics, located in Southeast in the Congress Heights community. The organization reportedly purchased a 13-unit apartment building that was facilitated by a $4.4 million loan from the housing agency.

However the building -as well as other properties Peaceoholics has renovated -- has yet to be inhabited. Brown, who oversees the Council's housing committee, has been probing activities at DCVHD since last year. He said in a Jan 28 press statement that his office has uncovered evidence of "the brazen abuse of authority from multiple employees at the agency to financially enrich themselves and outside entities."

Brown added that, "property records show that certain individuals and entities have [repeatedly] appeared in several questionable sales, purchases and land transfers," including the Congress Heights apartment building.

Meanwhile, Peaceoholics' Jauhar Abraham, who is running for the Ward 8 Council seat, has said he didn't do anything wrong on the Congress Heights deal, nor did he witness any type of wrongdoing by DHCD employees on that transaction, according to a published report.