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HUD on-hold message no welcome for Obama

Much to the surprise to the people who work there, anyone put on hold when calling the Broward County Housing Authority at one point this morning heard this:

"Barack Obama ... change you can't afford'' followed by some bashing of ''Congressional liberals.''

That sounded like a John McCain ad from a radio station that the authority uses for it's on hold music.

The housing authority didn't intend to broadcast a message cricitizing Obama.

"We have to make sure we have a radio station that doesn't have political ads,'' said Kevin Cregan, director of the authority.

The housing authority distributes Section 8 vouchers to help poor people find places to live. Although both Obama and John McCain have discussed the foreclosure crisis, that mostly affects the middle class.

Neither candidate prominently lists housing as an issue on their website although Obama includes some information under ''urban policy'' about creating an Affordable Housing Trust Fund.

The Public Housing Authorities Directors Association tried repeatedly to get someone from both campaigns to speak at an annual gathering this fall and eventually recruited someone from the Obama camp but no one on behalf of McCain, said policy analyst Kathi Whalen.

Housing advocates want to hear more from both candidates about their plans to help the poor.

"That's been a little too quiet to suit us,'' Whalen said.

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