WASHINGTON (DC News Now) — D.C. Councilmember Robert White accused the D.C. Housing Authority (DCHA) of having a culture of corruption that includes contract and landlord steering and housing voucher peddling.

White said he has also called for an investigation with the District’s Inspector General during a conference on Thursday.

“These allegations are not simply personnel issues that can be resolved by firing the employees involved or drafting conflict of interest policies and sweeping it under the rug,” White said. “When taken with several other internal investigation reports, the committee on housing has received from the agency paints a picture of extensive, unethical and illegal behavior occurring throughout the agency.”

DCHA Executive Director Brenda Donald pushed back, saying that the agency is not corrupt and that she also forwarded information about “isolated” incidents to the Inspector General’s office.

“We take all allegations very seriously,” Donald said. “And I have acted on every single issue that has been brought to my attention.”

A spokesman for the Inspector General said the office does not comment on any complaints filed to help protect the identity of the filer, nor would the office confirm or deny the existence of any investigation.

The spokesman said that if there are findings, the Inspector General’s office would send them to the U.S. Attorney’s office and present them to the public.

White said that a whistleblower recently tipped off his office about wrongdoing at DCHA, which has been in the sights of the U.S. Department of Urban Development due to significant problems.

White said that as chair of the council’s Committee on Housing, he would seek to help steer DCHA to better footing, but being alerted to landlord and contract steering and illegal voucher distribution was too much not the share with the public.

He declined to comment about the whistleblower except to say that the person has been referred to law enforcement.

Among his chief complaints: A DCHA employee illegally giving vouchers to friends and family at the Rise at Temple Court building and collected fees from applicants. It’s supposed to be used for residents who have been displaced.

“The evidence suggests that a former DCHA employee who was supposed to oversee providing vouchers to displaced former residents gave these vouchers to friends and family who are not even, some of them, not even District residents,” White alleged.

Donald said the authority has spent years making myriad improvements and have been tackling its long-standing and problematic waiting list for residents to get needed housing.

She said White was mistaken with his analysis.

“We have zero tolerance policy for fraud, and if we find anything, we will come after you,” she said. “This is not widespread corruption throughout this agency.”

Kisha McDougald, a DCHA voucher recipient since 2018, did not share that opinion.

“It’s [a] culture of apathy. They are constantly gaslighting and lying to the voucher holders, the public housing residents,” McDougald said. “Things aren’t isolated incidents. If they are they are the isolated incidents that got discovered.”

White said DCHA has a long way to go but he plans on holding officials accountable.

“This substantiates what our residents unfortunately already know and experience,” he said. “This is an agency that is not adhering to its mission.”