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HUD's Storefront Office A Model of Community Partnership

The HUD Storefront Office - called HUD Next Door - is a new type of consumer-oriented center that literally takes HUD to the streets. The Albuquerque Storefront Office - - located at 625 Silver Avenue, S.W., Albuquerque, New Mexico - - is the second such HUD customer service center to open. The first HUD Next Door Storefront Office opened in Washington, D.C. last May.

Today, most HUD offices are in high-rise buildings, cut off from the public. As offices across the country are transformed, some HUD offices will be located in areas easier for the public to visit. In addition to a street-level location, the new DC office has state-of-the-art technology to give people useful information about HUD services and programs.

Designed with the help of Gensler, a nationally known architectural and design firm, the storefront brings together innovative space design, technology, and customer service � in a way that breaks with staid federal government traditions. The effect is to deinstitutionalize the agency. Extensive use of glass, exposed beams and comfortable upholstered chairs add to the fresh, pleasant ambiance that welcomes and encourages the public to visit.

High technology available to the public includes a �touch screen� kiosk on the outside of the HUD Storefront, and dedicated computers inside � called HUD Answer Machines � to help people learn how to buy a home, how to get a home improvement loan, how to apply for rental assistance, or even file a housing discrimination complaint.

Staffed by new, pro-active HUD employees called Community Builders as well as experienced HUD program experts, this new HUD office will serve as the community�s first point of contact with the Department. The public will have easy access to information and guidance on all HUD activities, and will be encouraged to use the office for community meetings, to participate in satellite training presentations, or just browse HUD�s HomePage.

HUD�s Storefront represents a successful partnership between HUD, GSA and the private sector. GSA identified outstanding office sites and negotiated a fair lease. In addition, HUD was able to use the services of Gensler to design the Storefront space through an existing space design contract that GSA had with this internationally renowned architectural design firm. This collaboration has helped to deliver quality, innovative workspace for HUD staff and its clients, as well as an exciting, modern facade and interior environment that invites the public to step inside.

Last Updated: December 15, 1999
Content Archived: January 20, 2009

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