MILWAUKEE (AP) -

The state is paying some landlords significantly higher rent than average to house sex offenders.

WISN-TV in Milwaukee reports the state is paying $1,500 a month for a 480-square-foot house in Manitowoc -- about five times the going rate. The state is also paying $2,400 a month for a 1,100-square-foot home in Milwaukee -- about the same rent as a lakefront high-rise apartment.

Currently, there are 32 sex offenders on supervised release statewide, costing taxpayers $500,000 a year.

Department of Health Services Deputy Secretary Kevin Moore says finding housing for supervised released sex offenders is very difficult so rents are not competitive.

The issue was first reported by WLUK-TV in Green Bay. The Legislature later authorized an audit of the program to evaluate costs and potential savings.