Archive

Archive for the ‘U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’ Category

Impact of Oil and Gas Exploration on Affordable Housing

May 5, 2014 Comments off

Impact of Oil and Gas Exploration on Affordable Housing (PDF)
Source: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

This working paper, prepared by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Office of Policy Development and Research (PD&R), Economic Market Analysis Division Gas/Oil Task Force (GOTF), examines the impact of oil and gas exploration on the affordable rental-housing market. The paper comprises three sections: the first provides a brief overview of affordable rental-housing programs, the second discusses the measurable impacts of oil and gas exploration on affordable housing, and the third reviews how HUD and state agencies are addressing these impacts. An appendix provides detailed definitions related to HUD and other affordable housing programs.

About these ads

HUD’s Fiscal Year 2013 Compliance With the Improper Payments Elimination and Recovery Act of 2010

April 21, 2014 Comments off

HUD’s Fiscal Year 2013 Compliance With the Improper Payments Elimination and Recovery Act of 2010
Source: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Inspector General

We conducted an audit of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) fiscal year 2013 compliance with the Improper Payments Information Act of 2002 as amended by the Improper Payments Elimination and Recovery Act of 2010 (IPERA).  IPERA was enacted to eliminate and recover improper payments by requiring agencies to identify and report on programs that are susceptible to significant improper payments.  IPERA also requires each agency’s Inspector General to perform an annual review of the agency’s compliance with IPERA.  Our audit objectives were to (1) determine HUD’s compliance with IPERA reporting and improper payment reduction requirements and (2) determine whether corrective action plans addressed the root causes of HUD’s improper payments and were effectively implemented.

HUD did not comply with IPERA reporting requirements because it did not sufficiently and accurately report its (1) billing and program component improper payment rates; (2) actions to recover improper payments; (3) accountability; or (4) corrective actions, internal controls, human capital, and information systems as required by IPERA.  In addition, HUD’s supplemental measures and associated corrective actions did not sufficiently target the root causes of its improper payments because they did not track and monitor processing entities to ensure prevention, detection, and recovery of improper payments due to rent component and billing errors, which are root causes identified by HUD’s contractor studies.

CRS — Community Development Block Grants: Recent Funding History

April 8, 2014 Comments off

Community Development Block Grants: Recent Funding History (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, administered by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), under the Community Development Fund (CDF) account, was first authorized by Title I of the Housing and Community Development Act (HCDA) of 1974, P.L. 93-383. During the program’s nearly 40-year existence, Congress has allocated approximately $138 billion to help state and local governments undertake housing, economic development, neighborhood revitalization, and other community development activities. In addition to its annual appropriations, Congress, as events have warranted, has used the program’s framework to provide supplemental and special appropriations to assist states and communities in responding to various economic crises and manmade and natural disasters.

This report is a review of the CDF account’s funding history from FY2000 to FY2013, as well as current funding in FY2014. It includes a discussion of the three primary components of the CDF account: (1) CDBG formula grants; (2) CDBG-related set-asides and earmarks; and (3) CDBGlinked supplemental and special appropriations. It is intended to provide recent historical background as the 113th Congress considers CDF funding levels and composition. For information on CDF appropriation legislation considered during the 113th Congress, the reader should consult CRS Report Community Development Block Grant Funding Issues in the 113th Congress.

Violations Increased the Cost of Housing’s Administration of Its Bond Refund Program

March 19, 2014 Comments off

Violations Increased the Cost of Housing’s Administration of Its Bond Refund Program
Source: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Inspector General

We audited certain portions of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) multifamily housing programs as part of our fiscal year 2013 annual audit plan, based on an auditability study that we conducted, which identified potentially significant risk factors in its McKinney Act bond refund program. The objectives of the audit were to determine whether HUD properly enforced requirements that regulated the application of automatic adjustment factors to Section 8 rents for projects that had bond refund savings to prevent excessive rents and whether adjustments to receivables due to HUD from bond refunds were properly supported.

There were violations relative to HUD’s calculation of rents using automatic annual adjustment factors for bond-refunded projects and justification and support for writeoffs of receivables due to HUD from bond refunds. Specifically, HUD paid more than $2.6 million in excessive Section 8 rents due to a pattern of violations, which would indicate the existence of excess rents beyond the projects reviewed during the audit and similar to violations reported in past reviews. More than $2.7 million in questionable writeoffs of receivables due to HUD for bond refund savings were also identified. The amount included more than $2.6 million, which HUD wrote off without proper justification, and more than $139,000 for which HUD could not locate or provide proper documentation to show whether the writeoff was justified and supported. We also identified the release of more than $143,300 in trust fund balances to entities outside HUD without proper support. These conditions occurred primarily because the Office of Housing had not developed and implemented adequate monitoring of the bond refund program to ensure compliance with requirements.

We recommend that the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Multifamily Housing develop and implement procedures for (1) monitoring the calculation of annual rent increases for Section 8 projects and the remittance of trust fund balances; and (2) ensuring requests made by Housing for adjustments to bond receivables are in accordance with requirements. In addition, we recommend that the Deputy Assistant Secretary initiate actions needed to ensure the enforcement of program requirements and the proper resolution of more than $2.7 million in questioned costs.

HUD Reports Continued Decline in U.S. Homelessness Since 2010

November 22, 2013 Comments off

HUD Reports Continued Decline in U.S. Homelessness Since 2010
Source: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today released its latest national estimate of homelessness in the U.S., noting reductions in every major category or subpopulation since 2010, the year the federal government established “Opening Doors,” a strategic plan to end homelessness. HUD’s 2013 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress finds significant and measureable progress to reduce the scale of long-term or ‘chronic’ homelessness as well as homelessness experienced by Veterans and families.

HUD’s annual ‘point-in-time’ estimates measure the scope of homelessness on a single night in January of each year. Based on data reported by more than 3,000 cities and counties, last January’s one-night estimate reveals a 24 percent drop in homelessness among Veterans and a 16 percent reduction among individuals experiencing long-term or chronic homelessness since 2010. HUD’s estimate also found the largest decline in the number of persons in families experiencing homelessness since the Department began measuring homelessness in a standard manner in 2005.

Invest but Reform: Streamline Administration of the Housing Choice Voucher Program

October 21, 2013 Comments off

Invest but Reform: Streamline Administration of the Housing Choice Voucher Program
Source: Brookings Institution

The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program, the federal government’s primary tool for addressing the housing needs of low-income renters, is administered by thousands of local public housing agencies (PHAs), most of which serve individual cities, towns, or counties. This balkanized system seriously undermines the potential of the housing voucher program while at the same time raising administrative costs. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) should replace the current system by competitively awarding the operation of the voucher program to one well-qualified organization or consortium that will administer the program throughout an entire metropolitan area. In the near term, HUD can and should more vigorously encourage the formation of regional consortiums, mandate regional administration in metros where large shares of eligible households are served by failing PHAs, and strengthen existing performance standards to create incentives for voluntary regionalization.

Making Mixed-Income Neighborhoods Work for Low-Income Households

September 24, 2013 Comments off

Making Mixed-Income Neighborhoods Work for Low-Income Households
Source: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

Mixed-income housing policies such as Housing Opportunities for People Everywhere, or HOPE VI, are an outcome of historical processes that have limited the scope of subsidized public housing in America, leading to disinvestment in government housing programs in favor of reinvestment in market-based solutions. The underlying assumption has been that reinvestment deconcentrates poverty and addresses other perceived failures of traditional public housing. Although they provide some benefits to lower income residents, such initiatives have not produced many of the outcomes for which their advocates had hoped. The goal of this article is to reinvigorate the conversation about how, and if, mixed-income housing policies can be implemented in ways that work with and for the benefit of low-income populations. The article draws on literature about public housing and mixed-income development to posit ways that mixed-income initiatives might be combined with other programmatic efforts to foster upward trajectories for those experiencing poverty and to create public housing environments where people can thrive in all aspects of their lives. In the final section, we reimagine mixed-income housing in ways that could result in more inclusive communities—a reimagination that we suggest may better meet the original goals of such programs without dismissing the inherent limitations of solving entrenched poverty.

Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force Releases Rebuilding Strategy

September 6, 2013 Comments off

Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force Releases Rebuilding Strategy
Source: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

President Obama’s Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force, chaired by Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan, today released a rebuilding strategy to serve as a model for communities across the nation facing greater risks from extreme weather and to continue helping the Sandy-affected region rebuild. The Rebuilding Strategy contains 69 policy recommendations, many of which have already been adopted, that will help homeowners stay in and repair their homes, strengthen small businesses and revitalize local economies and ensure entire communities are better able to withstand and recover from future storms.

Among the recommendations that will have the greatest impact on Federal funding is a process to prioritize all large-scale infrastructure projects and map the connections and interdependencies between them, as well as guidelines to ensure all of those projects are built to withstand the impacts of climate change. The Strategy also explores how to harden energy infrastructure to minimize power outages and fuel shortages – and ensure continuation of cellular service – in the event of future storms.

The goal of these and other recommendations in the Strategy is to:

•Align federal funding with local rebuilding visions.
•Cut red tape and get assistance to families, businesses, and communities efficiently and effectively, with maximum accountability.
•Coordinate the efforts of the Federal, State, and local governments, with a region-wide approach to rebuilding.
•Ensure the region is rebuilt in a way that makes it more resilient – that is, better able to withstand future storms and other risks posed by a changing climate.

Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force Releases Rebuilding Strategy

August 20, 2013 Comments off

Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force Releases Rebuilding Strategy
Source: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

President Obama’s Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force, chaired by Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan, today released a rebuilding strategy to serve as a model for communities across the nation facing greater risks from extreme weather and to continue helping the Sandy-affected region rebuild. The Rebuilding Strategy contains 69 policy recommendations, many of which have already been adopted, that will help homeowners stay in and repair their homes, strengthen small businesses and revitalize local economies and ensure entire communities are better able to withstand and recover from future storms.

Among the recommendations that will have the greatest impact on Federal funding is a process to prioritize all large-scale infrastructure projects and map the connections and interdependencies between them, as well as guidelines to ensure all of those projects are built to withstand the impacts of climate change. The Strategy also explores how to harden energy infrastructure to minimize power outages and fuel shortages – and ensure continuation of cellular service – in the event of future storms.

The goal of these and other recommendations in the Strategy is to:

  • Align federal funding with local rebuilding visions.
  • Cut red tape and get assistance to families, businesses, and communities efficiently and effectively, with maximum accountability.
  • Coordinate the efforts of the Federal, State, and local governments, with a region-wide approach to rebuilding.
  • Ensure the region is rebuilt in a way that makes it more resilient – that is, better able to withstand future storms and other risks posed by a changing climate.

Mortgage Settlement Monitor Reports Eight Fails in Testing Results

June 25, 2013 Comments off

Mortgage Settlement Monitor Reports Eight Fails in Testing Results
Source: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

The nation’s largest mortgage servicers have failed eight of the servicing standards in the National Mortgage Settlement according to a report released by Joseph A. Smith, Jr., Monitor of the National Mortgage Settlement. The Monitor’s testing through the end of last year resulted in three testing fails, and there are five additional fails in 2013.

The following is a statement released today by HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan:

“The Independent Monitor’s report is a landmark moment in our efforts to reform the servicing industry. For too long, banks have been operating behind closed doors. This report provides the public with a new and transparent look into how banks are treating homeowners. The good news is that gains have been made. The practice of robo-signing—where banks sign off on foreclosures with little or no review—has come to an end. We’ve also confirmed that the five banks have stopped charging distressed borrowers a fee just to process a loan modification request.

Unfortunately, other abuses shamefully endure. Most notably, these financial institutions consistently fail to send notices and communicate decisions to stakeholders in a timely manner. This is unacceptable. So the five financial institutions are officially on notice; they must correct these problems and pass the Monitor’s tests or the Obama administration, along with the bipartisan group of 49 state attorneys general we partnered with on this effort, will fine them up to $5 million for each failure or haul them back into court.”

HUD Announces First-Ever Same-Sex Housing Discrimination Study

June 19, 2013 Comments off

HUD Announces First-Ever Same-Sex Housing Discrimination Study

Source: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today released the nation’s first-ever national study examining housing discrimination against same-sex couples in the private rental market. The study, An Estimate of Housing Discrimination Against Same-Sex Couples, measures the treatment same-sex couples receive from rental agents when inquiring about apartments advertised online, as compared to how otherwise similar heterosexual couples are treated.

According to HUD’s study, same-sex couples experience unequal treatment more often than heterosexual couples when responding to internet ads for rental units, and findings show that gay male couples experience more discrimination than lesbian couples.

Exposing Housing Discrimination

June 11, 2013 Comments off

Exposing Housing Discrimination

Source: Urban Institute/U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

The Department of Housing and Urban Development, in partnership with the Urban Institute, has released its 2012 Housing Discrimination Study: Housing Discrimination Against Racial and Ethnic Minorities. The study’s findings confirm a hard truth: that America’s long journey to end housing discrimination remains unfinished. Real estate agents and rental housing providers recommend and show fewer available homes and apartments to minority than equally qualified whites.

Although the most blatant forms of housing discrimination have declined since the first national paired-testing study in 1977, the forms that persist raise the costs of housing search for minorities and restrict their housing options. Looking forward, national fair housing policies must continue to adapt to address the patterns of discrimination and disparity that persist today.

New From the GAO

March 15, 2013 Comments off

New GAO Reports

Source: Government Accountability Office

DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY
Status of Loan Programs
GAO-13-331R, Mar 15, 2013

HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT
Strategic Human Capital and Workforce Planning Should be an Ongoing Priority
GAO-13-282, Mar 15, 2013

INFORMATION SECURITY
IRS Has Improved Controls but Needs to Resolve Weaknesses
GAO-13-350, Mar 15, 2013

MEDICAID
Additional Enrollment and Expenditure Data for the Transitional Medical Assistance Program
GAO-13-454R, Mar 15, 2013

HUD Reports Slight Decline in Homelessness in 2012

December 11, 2012 Comments off

HUD Reports Slight Decline in Homelessness in 2012
Source: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

On a single night last January, 633,782 people were homeless in the United States, largely unchanged from the year before. In releasing HUD’s latest national estimate of homelessness, U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan cited as hopeful that even during a historic housing and economic downturn, local communities are reporting significant declines in the number of homeless veterans and those experiencing long-term chronic homelessness. Read HUD’s 2012 Point-in-Time Estimates of Homelessness, including community-level data.

HUD’s annual ‘point-in-time’ estimate seeks to measure the scope of homelessness over the course of one night every January. Based on data reported by more than 3,000 cities and counties, last January’s estimate reveals a marginal decline in overall homelessness (-0.4%) along with a seven percent drop in homelessness among veterans and those experiencing long-term or chronic homelessness.

***NEW*** HUD OIG’s reviews of foreclosure practices at five of the nation’s largest FHA servicers

March 14, 2012 Comments off

HHS OIG’s reviews of foreclosure practices at five of the nation’s largest FHA servicers
Source: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Inspector General

As part of the Office of Inspector General’s (OIG) nationwide effort to review the foreclosure practices of the five largest Federal Housing Administration (FHA) mortgage servicers (Bank of America, Wells Fargo Bank, CitiMortgage, JP Morgan Chase, and Ally Financial, Incorporated) we reviewed Wells Fargo’s foreclosure and claims processes. In addition to this memorandum, OIG issued separate memorandums for each of the other four reviews. OIG performed these reviews due to reported allegations made in the fall of 2010 that national mortgage servicers were engaged in widespread questionable foreclosure practices involving the use of foreclosure “mills” and a practice known as “robosigning” of sworn documents in thousands of foreclosures throughout the United States.

+ Issue Date: March 12, 2012
Audit Memorandum No. 2012-KC-1801 (PDF)
Title: CitiMortgage, Inc. Foreclosure and Claims Process Review O’Fallon, MO

+ Issue Date: March 12, 2012
Audit Memorandum No. 2012-PH-1801 (PDF)
Title: Ally Financial, Incorporated Foreclosure and Claims Process Review Fort Washington, PA

+ Issue Date: March 12, 2012
Audit Memorandum No. 2012-CH-1801 (PDF)
Title: JPMorgan Chase Bank N.A. Foreclosure and Claims Process Review Columbus, OH

+ Issue Date: March 12, 2012
Audit Memorandum No. 2012-FW-1802 (PDF)
Title: Bank of America Corporation, Foreclosure and Claims Process Review Charlotte, NC

+ Issue Date: March 12, 2012
Audit Memorandum No. 2012-AT-1801 (PDF)
Title: Wells Fargo Bank, Foreclosure and Claims Process Review, Fort Mill, SC

FHA announces price cuts to encourage streamlined refinancing

March 8, 2012 Comments off

FHA announces price cuts to encourage streamlined refinancing
Source: Federal Housing Administration (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development)

Today, Acting Federal Housing (FHA) Commissioner Carol Galante announced significant price cuts to FHA’s Streamline Refinance Program that could benefit millions of borrowers whose mortgages are currently insured by FHA. Beginning June 11, 2012, FHA will lower its Upfront Mortgage Insurance Premium (UFMIP) to just .01 percent and reduce its annual premium to .55 percent for certain FHA borrowers.

To qualify, borrowers must be current on their existing FHA-insured mortgages which were endorsed on or before May 31, 2009. Late last month, FHA also announced it will increase its upfront premiums on most other loans by 75 basis points to 1.75 percent. In addition, FHA will raise annual premiums 10 basis points and 35 basis points on mortgages higher than $625,500.

+ Read FHA’s new Mortgagee Letter (PDF)

Fair Housing Report Demonstrates HUD’s Efforts to End Housing Discrimination

September 2, 2011 Comments off

Fair Housing Report Demonstrates HUD’s Efforts to End Housing Discrimination
Source: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

A report released today by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) shows that the agency is resolving individual housing discrimination complaints faster, increasing its focus on complaints that affect multiple people, and launching more investigations using its authority to initiate cases on behalf of discrimination victims where no one has filed a complaint. HUD’s Annual State of Fair Housing Report also illustrates how the agency is helping municipalities and state and local agencies receiving HUD funding to comply with civil rights requirements and holding non-compliant recipients accountable.

More than 10,000 fair housing discrimination complaints were filed in fiscal year 2010, according to the report. Discrimination based on a person’s disability continued to be the largest single category of complaints. Of the 10,155 complaints filed with HUD and its Fair Housing Assistance Program partner agencies, 48 percent alleged disability discrimination, 34 percent alleged discrimination based on race, and 15 percent alleged discrimination based on family status – consistent with the number and type of complaints received during the previous three years.

The report shows that in fiscal year 2010, HUD and its Fair Housing Assistance Program partner agencies processed 4,494 new complaints within 100 days, 328 more than in 2009 and 583 more than in 2008. The report also shows that HUD proactively pursued its own Secretary-initiated investigations, charging four and conciliating eight cases that developed from such investigations, and launching another 10 such investigations.

+ Full Report (PDF)

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 858 other followers