United States Department of Housing and Urban Development

United States Department of Housing and Urban Development

Coordinates: 38°53′03″N 77°01′22″W / 38.88406°N 77.02266°W / 38.88406; -77.02266

United States
Department of Housing and Urban Development
Seal of the Department of Housing and Urban Development
Agency overview
Formed September 9, 1965
Preceding agency Housing and Home Finance Agency
Jurisdiction Federal government of the United States
Headquarters Robert C. Weaver Federal Building, Washington, D.C.
Employees 10,600 (2004)
Annual budget $43.7 bil. (2010)
Agency executives Shaun Donovan, Secretary
Ron Sims, Deputy Secretary
Child agency Click here

The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, also known as 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.



The department was established on September 9, 1965, when Lyndon B. Johnson sign 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][4]

  • June 27, 1934 - The National Housing Act creates the Federal Housing Administration, which helps provide mortgage insurance on loans made by FHA-approved lenders.[5]
  • September 1, 1937- Housing Act of 1937 creates the United States Housing Authority, which helps enact slum-clearance projects and construction of low-rent housing
  • February 3, 1938: The National Housing Act Amendments of 1938 is signed into law.[6] The law creates the Federal National Mortgage Association (FNMA), which provides a secondary market to the Federal Housing Administration[7]
  • July 27, 1947 – The Housing and Home Finance Agency is established through Reorganization Plan Number 3
  • July 15, 1949 – The Housing Act of 1949 is enacted to help eradicate slums and promote community development and redevelopment programs
  • August 2, 1954 - The Housing Act of 1954 establishes comprehensive planning assistance
  • September 23, 1959 – The Housing Act of 1959 allows funds for elderly housing
  • September 2, 1964 - The Housing Act of 1964 allows rehabilitation loans for homeowners
  • September 1965 – HUD is created as a cabinet level agency by the Department of Housing and Urban Development Act
  • April 1968 – The Fair Housing Act is made to ban discrimination in housing
  • August 1969 – The Brooke Amendment establishes that low income families only pay no more than 25 percent of their income for rent
  • August 1974 – Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 allows community development block grants and help for urban homesteading
  • October 1977 – The Housing and Community Act of 1977 sets up Urban Development Grants and continues elderly and handicapped assistance
  • July 1987 – The Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act gives help to communities to deal with homelessness. It includes the creation of the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness of which HUD is a member.
  • February 1988 – The Housing and Community Development Act provides for the sale of public housing to resident management corporations
  • October 1992 – The HOPE VI program starts to revitalize public housing and how it works
  • October 1992 – The Housing and Community Development Act of 1992 codifies within its language the Federal Housing Enterprises Financial Safety and Soundness Act of 1992 that creates the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight, and mandates HUD to set goals for lower income and underserved housing areas for the GSEs Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
  • March 1996 – The Housing Opportunity Program Extension Act give public housing authorities the tools to screen out and evict residents who might endanger other existing residents due to substance abuse and criminal behavior
  • October 1998 – Government laws are proposed which would allow local housing authorities to open up more public housing to the middle class
  • November 2007 – HUD initiates program providing seller concessions to buyers of HUD homes, allowing them to use down payment of $100

Operating units

The Robert C. Weaver Federal Building is the headquarters of the Department of Housing and Urban Development located in Washington D.C. The building was designed by Marcel Breuer.

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

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,[8] and individual loan programs housing block grants[9] for Indian tribes, Native Hawaiians and Alaskans.
  • Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity: This office enforces Federal laws against discrimination against minority households, families with children, and persons with disability.
  • 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 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,[10] and the situation devastated the housing market in Brooklyn and Harlem and resulted in $70 million in HUD loans going into default.[11] Critics said that HUD's lax oversight of their program allowed the fraud to occur.[12] 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."[13]

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.

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 $100 down payment.

The Office of Inspector General

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 the 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

The mission of the Office of Inspector General (OIG) is to:[14]

  • 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 the HUD) in achieving success of its objectives and goals. Right now, the post of Inspector General of the HUD is vacant. Michael P. Stevens is the acting Inspector General.[15]


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.[13]

Related legislation

See also

US-GreatSeal-Obverse.svg Government of the United States portal



  1. ^ Pub.L. 89-174
  2. ^ Philips, Kate (January 22, 2009). "More Obama Cabinet Nominees Confirmed". The New York Times. http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/01/22/more-obama-cabinet-nominees-confirmed/. Retrieved January 22, 2009. 
  3. ^ Basic Congressional and Presidential Actions Establishing Major HUD-related Programs. U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
  4. ^ "United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)". Wrightrealtors.com. http://www.wrightrealtors.com/home/HUD.htm. Retrieved 2011-03-25. 
  5. ^ The Federal Housing Administration (FHA). U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
  6. ^ "§ 1701a. — Short title of amendment of 1938. - US § 1701a. — Short title of amendment of 1938. - US Code :: Justia". law.justia.com. http://law.justia.com/us/codes/title12/12usc1701a.html. Retrieved 2011-03-25. 
  7. ^ Huduser.org
  8. ^ Portal.hud.gov
  9. ^ Portal.hud.gov
  10. ^ Pristin, Terry (2001-05-11). "HUD Scraps Cuomo Remedy for Harlem Housing Scandal". New York Times. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9906E1D8103BF932A25756C0A9679C8B63. Retrieved May 26, 2010. 
  11. ^ "HUD: The Horror Movie". The Village Voice. 2001-01-10. http://www.villagevoice.com/nyclife/0627,smith,73729,15.html. 
  12. ^ Pristin, Terry (2001-04-02). "Housing Pledge by Cuomo Faces an Uncertain Future". New York Times. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9402E3D7103FF931A35757C0A9679C8B63. 
  13. ^ a b "NYC's 10 Worst Landlords". The Village Voice. 2006-07-05. http://www.villagevoice.com/nyclife/0627,smith,73729,15.html. 
  14. ^ HUD.gov
  15. ^ Hudoig.gov

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