Velázquez Demands Transparency, Accountability over Contracts Awarded to Self-Serving NYC Housing Executive
Washington, D.C.—In light of a New York Times report detailing abuse of public funds by Jack Brown III, CEO of the nonprofit organization CORE Services Group, Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY) has sent a scathing letter to the New York City Department of Social Services demanding answers.
According to The Times, the City awarded more than $352 million to Mr. Brown’s non-profit, CORE, which Mr. Brown then allegedly directed into his for-profit companies—including a security guard company, a maintenance company, and a catering company. At the same time Mr. Brown and his relatives were personally benefiting from this scheme, residents of the homeless shelters run by CORE were reportedly left to live dire conditions and failed to receive many of the supportive services. In the letter, Velázquez presses the City, demanding if any federal funds were used in the awarding of Mr. Brown’s contracts. She also asks for transparency on the City’s vetting process and prior knowledge of Mr. Brown’s financial history.
“Claiming to care about the homelessness crisis while using public funds to line your own pockets is an egregious abuse and Mr. Brown must be held fully accountable,” said Velázquez. “In addition, the public deserves answers from the City on how Mr. Brown was able to secure and maintain these contracts in the first place. Especially during a global pandemic where housing conditions have direct links to the spread of COVID-19, the City must be doing everything in its power to advance the needs of the unhoused.”
Velázquez is the highest-ranking member from New York City on the Housing, Community Development, and Insurance subcommittee in the House of Representatives, with jurisdiction over all federal housing and homelessness matters. A full copy of the letter can be found here.