THDA Chief Grilled for ‘Employee Appreciation’ Spending

State lawmakers are taking the Tennessee Housing Development Agency to task for tens of thousands of dollars spent on arcade outings and stretch limos. THDA’s new director appeared before the Fiscal Review Committee Monday.

Agency chief Ralph Perrey says now that he’s at the helm – quote – “what you will not see is us spending money to treat ourselves.” THDA now estimates $75,000 was spent over the last two years on rewards.

But before becoming executive director this month, Perrey was on the THDA board. So lawmakers ask why he didn’t act then.

“I was aware that we were doing some employee appreciation events. That didn’t raise a red flag to me when I heard it. It should have.”

THDA has a number of functions like rental assistance and first time homebuyer help. But it was created 40 years ago by the legislature to promote the creation of affordable housing.

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