A housing agency with a nationally lauded leader. A property tax passed by voters to fund new affordable housing. A city pockmarked with empty lots. Debbie Cenziper could tell that something was not right in Miami-Dade County as she drove past empty lots on her way to work. The MIAMI HERALD investigative reporter was determined to figure out what was preventing construction of new affordable homes, which should have been funded by Miami’s innovative surtax.
What she found went far beyond the normal bureaucratic gridlock that residents of one of America’s most expensive cities had grown used to. When Cenziper began to examine the financial records of the Miami-Dade Housing Agency she found widespread abuses that drained the agency’s hard-earned tax revenue without delivering the promised housing. Mounting construction delays, mismanagement, and poor oversight of projects led to a waiting list that reached 40,000 people — including Miamians like Ozie Porter, whose anger at the housing agency was matched only by her desire for a home of her own.
This week on EXPOSÉ, how Cenziper exposed the corruption at the heart of the system, writing a Pulitzer Prize-winning series that led to criminal indictments and Miami-Dade housing reforms.