Shaun Donovan, secretary of U.S. Housing and Urban (HUD), announced HUD is proposing new regulatory requirements for its HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME). Home was designed to produce affordable housing for low-income families and is the largest federal block grant to state and local governments.
In the past 19 years, HOME has assisted in providing more than a million affordable homes to low-income families. Donovan believes that the program has the potential to be boosted at the local level.
“The HOME program is a success story for housing low-income Americans and creating jobs,” Donovan said. “However, there’s more we can do to boost the program’s performance and accountability. Through these new steps, we want to expand HOME’s impact and ensure that every dollar is used smartly to help families afford their homes.”
The Obama Administration increased efforts to re-write some of HOME’s compliance rules in 2009. HUD proposed new regulatory improvements in the Federal Register to Congress, details of which will be published shortly.
HUD believes that there are components of the program within the regulatory level that can be improved to enhance performance at the local level and guarantee that the highest quality affordable housing is being provided to low-income families, and in the best deliverable way to taxpayers
Specific HUD proposals include; requiring state and local governments to adopt policies and procedures to improve their oversight of projects, develop a system for assessing the relative risk of projects, and requiring more frequent reporting by state and local participating jurisdictions to enable HUD to more closely track projects once they’re underway.