United States Department of Housing and Urban Development

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United States
Department of Housing and Urban Development
US-DeptOfHUD-Seal.svg
Seal of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Flag of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.svg
Flag of the U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
Department of Housing and Urban Development.JPG
Agency overview
Formed September 9, 1965; 48 years ago (1965-09-09)
Preceding Agency Housing and Home Finance Agency
Jurisdiction Federal government of the United States
Headquarters Robert C. Weaver Federal Building, 451 7th Street SW, Washington, D.C.
38°53′2.17″N 77°1′21.03″W / 38.8839361°N 77.0225083°W / 38.8839361; -77.0225083Coordinates: 38°53′2.17″N 77°1′21.03″W / 38.8839361°N 77.0225083°W / 38.8839361; -77.0225083
Employees 10,600 (2005)
Annual budget $48.5 bil. (2011)
Agency executives Shaun Donovan, Secretary
Maurice Jones, Deputy Secretary
Estelle Richman, Senior Advisor to the Deputy Secretary
Child agency Click here
Website hud.gov

The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is a Cabinet department in the Executive branch of the United States federal government. Although its beginnings were in the House and Home Financing Agency, it was founded as a Cabinet department in 1965, as part of the "Great Society" program of President Lyndon Johnson, to develop and execute policies on housing and metropolises.

History[edit]

The department was established on September 9, 1965, when Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Department of Housing and Urban Development Act[1] into law. It stipulated that the department was to be created no later than November 8, sixty days following the date of enactment. The actual implementation was postponed until January 13, 1966, following the completion of a special study group report on the federal role in solving urban problems.

HUD is administered by the United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Shaun Donovan, a former New York City housing commissioner and former Deputy Assistant Secretary of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, is the current Secretary, having been confirmed by the United States Senate unanimously on January 22, 2009.[2] Its headquarters is located in the Robert C. Weaver Federal Building. Some important milestones for HUD's development include:[3]

Mission[edit]

HUD’s mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes; utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and transform the way HUD does business.[8]

Organizational structure[edit]

The major program offices are:

  • Community Planning and Development: Many major affordable housing and homelessness programs are administered under Community Planning and Development. These include the Community Development Block Grants (CDBG), the HOME program, Shelter Plus Care, Emergency Shelter Grants (ESG), Section 8 Moderate Rehabilitation Single Room Occupancy program (Mod Rehab SRO), and Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA).
  • Housing: This office is responsible for the Federal Housing Administration; mission regulation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac; regulation of Manufactured housing; administration of Multifamily housing programs, including Supportive Housing for the Elderly (Section 202) and Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities (Section 811); and Healthcare facility loan insurance.
  • Public and Indian Housing: This office administers the public housing program HOPE VI, the Housing Choice Voucher Program (formerly – yet more popularly – known as Section 8), Project-Based Vouchers,[9] and individual loan programs housing block grants[10] for Indian tribes, Native Hawaiians and Alaskans.
  • Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity: This office enforces Federal laws against discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability and familial status.
  • Policy Development and Research (PD&R): This office is responsible for maintaining current information on housing needs, market conditions, and existing programs, as well as conducting research on priority housing and community development issues through the HUD USER Clearinghouse.
  • Government National Mortgage Association (Ginnie Mae)
  • Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Control.
  • Partnership for Advancing Technology in Housing (developed in 1998)

The Office of Inspector General[edit]

The United States Congress enacted the Inspector General Act of 1978 to ensure integrity and efficiency in government. The Inspector General is appointed by the President and subject to Senate confirmation.

The Inspector General is responsible for conducting and supervising audits, investigations, and inspections relating to the programs and operations of HUD. The OIG is to examine, evaluate and, where necessary, critique these operations and activities, recommending ways for the Department to carry out its responsibilities in the most effective, efficient, and economical manner possible.

OIG mission[edit]

The mission of the Office of Inspector General (OIG) is to:[11]

  • Promote the integrity, efficiency and effectiveness of HUD programs and operations to assist the Department in meeting its mission
  • Detect and prevent waste, fraud, and abuse
  • Seek administrative sanctions, civil recoveries and/ or criminal prosecution of those responsible for waste, fraud and abuse in HUD programs and operations

The OIG accomplishes its mission by conducting investigations pertinent to its activities; by keeping Congress, the Secretary, and the public fully informed of its activities, and by working with staff (in this case of HUD) in achieving success of its objectives and goals. David A. Montoya, who was sworn in on December 1, 2011, is the current Inspector General.[12][13]

Operations[edit]

The 203(k) program offers low down payment loans to primary resident owner occupants or nonprofit groups to buy and renovate a house. A scandal with the program arose in the 1990s in which at least 700 houses were sold for profit by real estate speculators taking the loans; at least 19 were arrested,[14] and the situation devastated the housing market in Brooklyn and Harlem and resulted in $70 million in HUD loans going into default.[15] Critics said that HUD's lax oversight of their program allowed the fraud to occur.[16] In 1997, the HUD Inspector General had issued a report saying: "The program design encourages risky property deals, land sale and refinance schemes, overstated property appraisals, and phony or excessive fees."[17]

One of the most successful HUD programs over the years has been the Multifamily Housing Service Coordinator Program. Each year since 1992, HUD has included in its Notice of Fund Availability (NOFA), a specific allocation of dollars to allow sponsors and owners of HUD multifamily housing for the elderly the opportunity to hire a Service Coordinator. The Service Coordinator provides case management and coordinative services to elderly residents, particularly to those who are "frail" and "at-risk" allowing them to remain in their current residence. As a result, thousands of senior citizens throughout the United States have been given the opportunity to continue to live independently instead of in an institutional facility such as a nursing home. Professional organizations such as the American Association of Service Coordinators provide support to HUD Service Coordinator through education, training, networking and advocacy.

HUD has experimented with Enterprise Zones granting economic incentives to economically depressed urban areas, but this function has largely been taken over by states.

Due to HUD's lending practices, it occasionally takes possession of a home when a lender it insures forecloses. Such properties are then generally sold off to the highest bidder through the HUD auction process. Buyers of HUD homes as their primary residences who make a full-price offer to HUD using FHA-insured mortgage financing receive seller concessions from HUD enabling them to use only a $100 down payment.

Criticisms[edit]

In June 1993, HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros admitted that "HUD has in many cases exacerbated the declining quality of life in America." In 1996, Vice President Al Gore, referring to public housing projects, declared that, "These crime-infested monuments to a failed policy are killing the neighborhoods around them." According to libertarian critic James Bovard, "The more aggressive HUD becomes, the fewer free speech rights Americans have. Many words and phrases are now effectively forbidden in real estate ads. ... Apparently, there are two separate versions of the Bill of Rights -- one for private citizens and the other for federal bureaucrats and politicians -- since the word 'balance' does not appear in copies that normal citizens have access to." This was Bovard's response to HUD Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing Roberta Achtenberg who declared that "...HUD walks a tightrope between free speech and fair housing. We are ever mindful of the need to maintain the proper balance between these rights."[18] In 2006, The Village Voice called HUD "New York City's worst landlord" and "the #1 worst in the United States." The criticism is based upon decrepit conditions of buildings and questionable eviction practices.[17]

Related legislation[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ Pub.L. 89–174
  2. ^ Philips, Kate (January 22, 2009). "More Obama Cabinet Nominees Confirmed". The New York Times. Retrieved January 22, 2009. 
  3. ^ Basic Congressional and Presidential Actions Establishing Major HUD-related Programs. U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
  4. ^ The Federal Housing Administration (FHA). U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
  5. ^ "§ 1701a. — Short title of amendment of 1938. - US § 1701a. — Short title of amendment of 1938. - US Code :: Justia". law.justia.com. Retrieved 2011-03-25. 
  6. ^ Huduser.org
  7. ^ Reckard, Scott (2013-05-17). "HUD to shut down offices as a result of sequester". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2013-05-19. 
  8. ^ Mission/U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Portal.hud.gov. Retrieved on 2013-08-12.
  9. ^ Portal.hud.gov
  10. ^ Portal.hud.gov
  11. ^ "OIG Mission Statement" HUD Office of the Inspector General
  12. ^ "OIG Key Principal Staff" HUD Office of the Inspector General
  13. ^ "OIG Senior Staff Bios - David A. Montoya Inspector General" HUD Office of the Inspector General
  14. ^ Pristin, Terry (2001-05-11). "HUD Scraps Cuomo Remedy for Harlem Housing Scandal". New York Times. Retrieved May 26, 2010. 
  15. ^ "HUD: The Horror Movie". The Village Voice. 2001-01-10. 
  16. ^ Pristin, Terry (2001-04-02). "Housing Pledge by Cuomo Faces an Uncertain Future". New York Times. 
  17. ^ a b "NYC's 10 Worst Landlords". The Village Voice. 2006-07-05. 
  18. ^ James Bovard (2000). Feeling Your Pain: The Explosion and Abuse Of Government Power in the Clinton-Gore Years. New York: St. Martin's Press. pp. 167, 175, 176. 0-312-23082-6. 

External links[edit]