History of HUD's Web Organization


"Those who fail to learn from history are destined to repeat it." So we thought it would be a good idea to put together a brief chronology of key events in the growth of HUD's web management organization.




May 1, 1994

HUD establishes first link to the internet

July 18, 1994

HUD's Office of Information Policy and Systems issues internet access training guide

Fall 1994

HUD posts its first Gopher site, a text only internet site.


(Month unknown) 1995

HUD's Office of Information Policy and Systems (OIPS) posts CodeTalk, an interagency web site for Native Americans, organized by Dom Nessi of HUD's Indian Housing Office.

March, 1995

OIPS posts HUD's first web page on the internet. www.hud.gov is born

March, 1995

Don Demitros, Director of OIPS, asks the Secretary's Office of Special Actions to take responsibility for deciding what to do with HUD's website. Candi Harrison, in the Office of Special Actions, becomes HUD's first Webmaster, assuming responsibility for content and direction of the web site. Technical support is provided by OIPS, via a contractor: Advanced Technology Systems (ATS).

Apr 5, 1995

George Latimer, Director of the Office of Special Actions, sends memo informing Secretary Henry Cisneros that the Office is taking on the management of the Department's website as one of its projects

May 3, 1995

George Latimer informs Principal Staff that Special Actions will be managing HUD's website and invites them to send members to a Working Group for the project

May 17, 1995

Candi Harrison lays out the general direction for HUD's web site, in a bulletin board message for community development professionals, soliciting their suggestions. Objectives include organizing by topics rather than HUD organization. Responses are positive.

June, 1995

HUD posts the 2nd version of it's website.

July 10, 1995

Deputy Secretary Dwight Robinson issues first Departmental Web Policies for creating webpages. Central to the policies is that HUD will have only one web site - located at www.hud.gov - to ensure that we are perceived as "one HUD."

Aug 2, 1995

OIPS issues first technical guidelines for creating web pages for the internet.

Aug 10, 1995

OIPS increases the color-depth of the web site to 256 colors (up from 16). This was an improvement to the quality of HUD's web site.

Aug 21, 1995

Internet Working Group disbands, having created the first "Blueprint for HUD's Home Page"

Aug 21, 1995

Tampa Office Web Manager George Milburn posts the first Field Office web page, as part of HUD's web site.

Sept 22, 1995

In a memo to Principal Staff, George Latimer suggests that the Department needs a public information strategy, covering the web page and all other public information products (including 800 numbers, publications, handbooks, mail, etc.).

Oct 6, 1995

HUD posts the third version of its website . This new version is organized in ways that HUD's audiences can understand, e.g., "cities, communities, and neighborhoods" and "places to live."


Jan 31, 1996

Candi Harrison circulates first comprehensive strategic plan for HUD's web site.

Feb 8, 1996

Assistant Secretary for CPD, Andrew Cuomo, hosts the first live "chat" via the web, with community development partners.

May 13, 1996

New version of HUD's home page - rechristened "Homes and Communities" - goes live. Garners the first awards for HUD's web site, including USA Today "Hot Site" and Yahoo "Cool Site." Introduces "You, the Citizen" - a guide to help citizens use the services of the web site.

June 1, 1996

Office of Information Technology (OIT - formerly OIPS) introduces the idea for a HUD intranet in a White Paper entitled "HUD and the Intranet," written by Gretchen Van Hyning

June 4, 1996

Candi Harrison presents first web briefing for Secretary Cisneros and Principal Staff. Reaction was enthusiastic (especially about the awards!)

June 7, 1996

Art Agnos, Director of Special Actions, sends Principal Staff a memo laying out objectives for the future.

Aug, 1996

Phyllis Preston, in the Office of Special Actions, becomes HUD's first Intranet Webmaster.

Aug 1, 1996

Candi Harrison, Phyllis Preston, and Cindy O'Connor attend the first Federal Webmaster Meeting, organized by GSA

Aug, 1996

Cindy O'Connor, in the Office of Special Actions, becomes Director of Web Marketing and Outreach and drafts first Marketing Plan for HUD's web site

Aug 8, 1996

Art Agnos, Director of the Office of Special Actions, sends memo to Secretary Cuomo and Deputy Secretary Robinson asking them to decide the organizational placement of the Department Webmaster - proposes 1) Secretary's Office, 2) Deputy Secretary's Office, 3) Public Affairs

Sept 10-11, 1996

First HUD Webmaster Conference held in Indianapolis. Introduces policies, new ideas for HUD's internet, and the new intranet being developed. Representatives from each field office and each headquarters office attend.

Oct, 1996

Web Team reports to the Deputy Secretary that 45 field offices now have pages on hud.gov

Oct 1, 1996

Office of Housing, in Fort Worth, introduces electronic bidding on HUD homes. Brokers are allowed to place paper bids or electronic bids (by phone or web) for the following 30 days. On November 1, only electronic bids are accepted.

Oct 9, 1996

Candi Harrison and Phyllis Preston attend the Departmental Management meeting to brief senior HUD managers on HUD's two web sites, outlining successes and future possibilities.

Nov, 1996

"HUDweb" - HUD's new intranet - is unveiled. Every employee in every HUD office has access to information and tools they need to do their jobs, via this employees-only web site. HUDweb records 21,000 hits in its first month.

Dec 8, 1996

HUD releases a new version of its home page, marking the fifth redesign in 21 months. This version introduces the split between "citizens" and "business partners." 48 field offices have pages on the web site now.

Dec 10, 1996

Deputy Secretary Dwight Robinson issues updated web policies


Jan, 1997

Candi Harrison proposes plans, possibilities, and objectives for HUD's web site, to Principal Staff. Options include "homesnet" - an interagency home-selling web site; a 24-hour online community tool kit (including technical assistance online); and an educational section on communities

Feb 1997

HUD's web site is selected by Government Executive Magazine as one of the "Best Feds on the Web." (http://www.govexec.com/tech/bestgov.htm)

Feb, 1997

OIT begins work on "HUD ATM machine" - the beginning of HUD's kiosk program. A separate kiosk effort was underway in HUD's San Francisco Office, at the request of Secretary's Representative Art Agnos.

Feb, 1997

White House web site introduces "commonly requested federal services" section. HUD has more online services listed than any other federal agency.

Mar 5, 1997

New version of HUDweb goes live.

May, 1997

Deputy Secretary Robinson transfers HUD's Web Team to the Office of Departmental Operations and Coordination, to officially attach the Team to his staff

Jun 11, 1997

Departmental Webmasters send memo to Deputy Secretary Robinson proposing creation of 10 full-time Field Web Managers

July 22, 1997

First prototype kiosk is demonstrated for Secretary Andrew Cuomo. Karen Hinton, Senior Advisor to the Secretary, subsequently assumes leadership of the kiosk project, working with HUD's Web Team, OIT, North Communications, Gensler Architects, Summit Research, and ATS. A 5th contractor - Eagle Collaborative Computing Systems - soon joins the effort.

Aug, 1997

Webmaster Magazine (subsequently CIO Magazine ) picks hudweb as one of the Top 50 Intranets in the country

Sept 16, 1997

HUD is one of two agencies invited to demonstrate their web sites at the White House announcement of the new Nonprofit Gateway, one of the first federal interagency web sites (portals). Cindy O'Connor has represented HUD in this effort.

Sept 27, 1997

HUD begins working with IBM to create a public use workstation, to be located in HUD field offices. This effort results in the "HUD Answer Machines," later rechristened "HUD Public Computers."

Oct 1, 1997

OIT (and ATS) begin developing using new technology - Cold Fusion - that eventually is used on the HUD Kiosks and the HUD web sites.

Oct 15, 1997

HUDweb comes into its own! 1700 new jobs at HUD are posted on HUDweb, as part of the HUD 2020 management plan efforts. The posting drew so much attention - 170 hits per second - that the server crashed!

Nov, 1997

Prototype HUD kiosk is installed in HUD Headquarters

Nov 25, 1997

HUD Secretary Cuomo holds a press conference, announcing a new online search for HUD Refunds. Citizens can find out if they are owed a premium refund, online. Almost immediately, hits on the refunds search were so fast that HUD's servers crashed. The refunds search averaged 200,000 hits per week, for several weeks.


Jan 23, 1998

The Director of the National Partnership for Reinventing Government, Morely Winograd, announces the U.S. State and Local Gateway, an interagency web site involving 14 federal agencies and 5 major partner organizations, hosted by HUD. HUD accepts the Vice President's Hammer Award for the effort, on behalf of the interagency committee.

Jan 28, 1998

First "traveling kiosk" is demonstrated at the U.S. Conference of Mayors legislative session in Washington, DC. Subsequently, 5 portable versions of HUD's kiosks were developed, to be used by HUD staff to demonstrate HUD's kiosks and web page at public events around the country.

Jan 31, 1998

Version 6 of HUD's Homes and Communities web site goes live. This version incorporates HUD's new standard palette of colors, developed by the Gensler architects for use in HUD's storefront offices, the HUD Kiosks, and all new HUD publications. This version of the web site aimed to be more "lean and clean," limiting the text on the front page.

Apr 14, 1998

HUD introduces its first "webcast" - video through the web. Though long desired, webcasts became a reality on HUD's web site through the efforts of Barbara Dorf, who was managing HUD's NOFA process, and Todd Howe, Deputy Chief of Staff. The first webcasts broadcast training sessions associated with HUD's NOFA process.

Apr 30, 1998

Deputy Secretary Ramirez issues update on web management: changes "Webmaster" to "Web Manager," tasks each Principal Staff member to designate a successful communicator to be the organization Web Manager, and reissues Department web policies.

May, 1998

Government Executive Magazine spotlights HUD's web site in an article entitled "The Wonder Years." (http://www.govexec.com/features/0598s2.htm)

May, 1998

HUD's first kiosk and the HUD Answer Machine are introduced by Secretary Cuomo at the opening of the new Storefront Office in Washington, DC

May, 1998

The National Partnership for Reinventing Government honored the kiosks with the Hammer Award

May 1, 1998

Government Executive Magazine selects HUD's web site as one of the "Best Feds on the Web," (http://www.govexec.com/dailyfed/0598/050198a1.htm) for the second straight year

May, 1998

Two additional Deputy Web Managers join the Web Team: Sam Gallagher - who had worked on HUD's web site since July 1995, as a contractor for ATS - and Jill Bikowski. This brings the Team to a total of 5 full-time management analysts

June 16-17, 1998

HUD Field Web Managers meet in Annapolis, Maryland. Primary objectives: improving writing on the web and implementing a new template for all field offices. Representatives from each field office attend.

July, 1998

CIO Magazine selects HUDweb as one of the Top 50 Intranets in the country, for the second year in a row.

Sept 9, 1998

Web Team sends "Good News About Technology" memo to Secretary Cuomo, reporting that 16 kiosk are deployed; 210,000 people are visiting HUD's web site each month; and 250 people have watched at least one of our webcasts

Nov 5, 1998

New York Times features an article about HUD's kiosks.

Nov 6, 1998

Deputy Secretary Ramirez issues memo encouraging Principal Staff to use webcasting technology.

Dec 10, 1998

Web Team sends a memo on "What's New On the Kiosk Front" to Secretary Cuomo. Reports that 25 kiosks are installed, and more than 10,000 people used the kiosks in the past 2 months.


Jan, 1999

Joanne Johnson joins the Web Team as a Deputy Web Manager, bringing the team to 6 full-time members.

Feb 11, 1999

Web Team sends first State of the Web report to Secretary Cuomo. Report that 8,000 lenders are using FHA Connection.

Feb, 1999

New release of HUD's Homes and Communities page introduces "Homebuyer's Kit."

Mar 3, 1999

HUD hosts first attempt at creating an interagency kiosk forum, attended by 27 individuals representing 13 agencies and 3 private firms

Apr 12, 1999

Candi Harrison and Sam Gallagher are invited to do a presentation on HUD's Kiosks at the national KioskCom conference in San Francisco. HUD's is the only federal kiosk presented at the conference.

May, 1999

HUDweb records 700,000 hits during the month.

July, 1999

HUD's kiosks received the E-Gov "Pioneer Award."

July 5, 1999

Public Affairs issues press release on HUD kiosks.

Aug 11, 1999

Web Team memo tells Secretary Cuomo about plans to conduct Web Clinics for HUD Partners.

Aug, 1999

Intergovernmental Advisory Board, part of GSA's Office of Intergovernmental Solutions, issues a report: Integrated Service Delivery: Government Using Technology to Serve the Citizen. Calls HUD's web site "an excellent example of how to exploit the web to better serve citizens."

Sept 20-21, 1999

Web Managers Conference held in Richmond, Virginia. Primary objectives: teaching web managers to use their templates and encouraging them to do creative marketing. Representatives from each field office and each HQ office attend.

Oct 14, 1999

First Web Day at HUD recognizes that "Smart HUD Employees Work Online." HUD's first Webbie Awards go to: Dave Gallian, Marketer of the Year; Brent Pick, Hudweb Site of the Year; Steve Shelley, hud.gov Site of the Year; and Marie Shattuck, Web Manager of the Year. Webcasting Team wins Hammer Award.

Oct 25, 1999

Jerry Mayer, in HUD's Santa Ana Homeownership Center, is the first to make use of HUD's new "listserv" mailing list technology. His first list began with 1,832 subscribers.

Nov 1, 1999

Version 8 of HUD's web site is introduced. Though not a complete redesign, this version adds the "Community News" section as the featured item on the page, in hopes that citizens will find ideas for community programs they might want to replicate.

Dec, 1999

Second field office template for hud.gov introduced.


Feb, 2000

HUD's Web Team conducts the first in a series of Web Clinics for HUD Partners, in San Francisco and Phoenix.

Mar 21, 2000

Deputy Secretary Ramirez creates the Web Management Task Force, assigned to develop the strategy of institutionalizing web management at HUD.

Mar 27, 2000

Web Team delivers the 2000 State of the Web report to the Secretary and Deputy Secretary. Reports 600,000 monthly visitors to the web site; new cross-agency intranet roundtable; and 77 kiosks installed.

Apr 1, 2000

HUD introduces new Kiosk content design, utilizing Cold Fusion technology. Web Managers can update content using an online form, rather than having to create HTML files.

Apr 24, 2000

HUD's web site is among "10 Sites to Watch: (http://www.fcw.com/fcw/articles/2000/0424/cov-10sites-04-24-00.asp) 10 unheralded but innovative web sites that pave the way to digital government," the cover article of Federal Computer Week

May, 2000

E-Gov Journal columnist, Jeff Bolletino (Vice President at Booz-Allen & Hamilton) praises HUD for listening to its audiences using online chats

May 19, 2000

Web Management Task Force issues its final report, presenting 12 recommendations to address 4 major issues: need for cultural change, need for more/improved staff, need for better training, and need for better management of web technical infrastructure.

May, 2000

Phyllis Preston, HUD's first intranet Web Manager, leaves HUD. Departmental Web Team reorganizes, with a single Departmental Web Manager and 5 Deputy Web Managers.

May, 2000

HUD's kiosk project is selected as a Semi-finalist for Harvard's 2000 Innovation In American Government Awards.

May 22, 2000

Deputy Secretary Ramirez directs Principal Staff to implement the recommendations of the Web Management Task Force.

Jun 22, 2000

HUD's Web Team reports to Secretary Cuomo and Deputy Secretary Ramirez that Web Clinics are successful. 270 people representing 211 organizations have been trained.

July, 2000

HUD's web site receives the first "E-Citizen Services" award for federal web sites, presented by MIT and Accenture. This award, subsequently called the "Digital Government Award," recognizes web sites that are most innovative in using the web to serve citizens. MIT professor Dan Greenwood said of HUD's site: "they really knew why people are going to their site and designed it for them."

Aug, 2000

HUD's web clinics are featured in an article on Inman.Com's "Real Estate News"

Sept, 2000

Sam Gallagher is promoted to Associate Web Manager.

Oct 4, 2000

Web Day at HUD introduces plans for a new version of HUD's intranet, to be called "hud@work," and honors this year's HUD Webbie winners: Steve Meiss (Chicago), Marketer of the Year; Cori Senechal (Seattle), hudweb site of the year; Jerry Royster (Boise), hud.gov site of the year; and Brent Pick (OPC), web manager of the year. Honorable mention goes to: Gloria Villareal (Jacksonville), Marketer of the Year; Letha Strothers (HQ Housing), hud.gov Site of the Year; Mary Ellen Bergeron (Administration), hudweb Site of the Year; and Debbie Knight (Louisville), Web Manager of the Year.

Oct 31, 2000

HUD convenes first Federal Web Content Managers Forum (http://www.firstgov.gov/webcontent/forum.shtml). 28 people from 15 agencies attend. Forum continues to meet on a monthly basis.

Nov, 2000

Letha Strothers joins the Web Team as Deputy Web Manager. She fills the vacancy created by the departure of Jill Bikowski.

Nov, 2000

The Public Strategies Group praises HUD's web site as, "A pioneer among federal agencies in how to put useful information in the hands of customers and stakeholders," in their Fall, 2000 review of HUD.

Dec 11, 2000

Deputy Secretary Ramirez issues memo to Principal Staff on HUD's web privacy policy

Dec 20, 2000

Web Team sends status report on implementation of recommendations of the Deputy Secretary's Web Management Task Force. Many recommendations have been implemented. Key exception is hiring full-time web managers in Headquarters and Field.

Dec, 2000

Alisa Reese joins the Web Team as a Management Analyst, the 7th slot on the Web Team.


Jan 23, 2001

New version of HUD's Homes and Communities Site (version 9) is released. New features include "At Your Service," a guide to online services for citizens. With this version, HUD changes the technology behind its web site to a database system, rather than "static" HTML pages. Dreamweaver becomes HUD's standard software for developing web pages.

Feb, 2001

HUD Kiosks earn one of 5 Excellence.Gov Awards

Feb 23, 2001

Web Team sends Secretary Mel Martinez the 2001 State of the Web report. Highlights: 630,000 visitors to HUD's web site each month; 91 kiosks are deployed; and 850 representatives from 600 partner organizations have gone through HUD's Web Clinics.

Apr 10, 2001

HUD hosts a new effort to begin an Interagency Kiosk Forum. Some 50 representatives of more than 25 federal agencies attend.

May, 2001

Kelsey Stuart cites HUD's web site as an example of "customer-centric service" in his article, "The Big Switch to Customer Service," in the E-Gov 2001 Preview Journal. HUD's "At Your Service" section is spotlighted under the heading: "Now That's Customer-Centric!"

July, 2001

Web Clinics for HUD Partners receives the "Trailblazer" award presented by E-Gov.

July, 2001

Deputy Secretary Alphonso Jackson authorizes hiring 10 full-time Field Web Managers

Aug 17, 2001

Deputy Secretary Alphonso Jackson issues guidance to Principal Staff on the goals, objectives, and organization of Field web management, as HUD prepares to select 10 full-time Field Web Managers.

Aug 21, 2001

HUD installs its 100th kiosk at a shopping center in Harrisburg, PA.

Aug, 2001

HUDweb records over 3 million page views in a single month.

Sept 10, 2001

A year in the making, Web Team rolls out "next generation" intranet for HUD, called "hud@work." For the first time, employees can tailor what they see on the home page.

Sept 10, 2001

Deputy Secretary Alphonso Jackson issues new web policy requiring Principal Staff and Secretary's Representatives to certify quarterly that their web pages are current and accurate.

Sept, 2001

Brown University ranks HUD's Homes and Communities Site 4th of 58 federal web sites reviewed in its annual E-Gov Report. The review evaluated the level of services that federal and state agencies offer via the web, finding that HUD's site is among the best!

Oct 1, 2001

HUD's Web Team reorganizes, creating 2 Departmental Web Managers. Sam Gallagher becomes Departmental Web Manager for Headquarters Operations, and Candi Harrison becomes Departmental Web Manager for Field Operations. This change will focus much-needed attention on the field web pages. Cindy O'Connor leaves the Web Team, moving to the Office of Housing.

Oct 16, 2001

Assistant Deputy Secretary for Field Policy and Management Pamela Patenaude selects the first full-time Field Web Managers: Eric Ramoth, John Carpenter, Diane Littleton, Steve Meiss, Barbara Bates, Lynn Kring, Jim Graver, and Rachel Flagg

Nov 5, 2001

First training session for new full-time Field Web Managers conducted in Scottsdale, Arizona. New Deputy Web Manager, Helen Savoye, joins the Departmental Web Team.

Dec 8, 2001

National Journal cites HUD's web page among recommended housing web sites. "Going to the Housing and Urban Development Department's Web site is like opening a triple-decker box of crayons-it's surprisingly aesthetic, and full of more choices than one person could ever hope to use...Take advantage of the "Information for" option on the home page: HUD does an excellent job of indexing its overwhelming Web site for easy use by 24 different user groups."


Jan 1, 2002

First certification of web content due. Most offices take the process very seriously, and significant management attention was focused on improving the quality of web content. 1,900 modifications were made to Field web pages; and thousands of changes were made to Headquarters pages.

Jan 9, 2002

First Web Content Managers Seminar was held at the Department of Education. This event, which brought 100 federal web content managers together to discuss common issues, was conceived by the HUD Web Team and organized by the Federal Web Content Managers Forum, organized by the HUD Web Team in 2000. The Web Team opened the seminar and conducted two of the sessions.

Jan 28, 2002

Second training session for Field Web Managers conducted in San Diego. Sessions focused on learning the process of content development, as applied to the creation of new "state" pages and on leadership training.

Feb 11, 2002

hud.gov front page is modified to incorporate a new "Spanish" tab. HUD has translated 240 pages of content into Spanish, as of this date. More translation is planned.

Feb, 2002

Statistics for January 2002 show 747,545 unique visitors to hud.gov - the largest monthly total since the web site debuted

Mar, 2002

Web Managers around the Department report that they are receiving 9,000 e-mails a month - down from 20,000 per month reported in FY 2000. The redesigned hud.gov site, which was posted in January 2001, seems to have helped people find what they want, more easily.

Mar 27, 2002

AOL highlights HUD's homes for sale, causing huge increases in traffic to the site. IT staff report 1,000 hits per second, throughout the day. Stats revealed 1.4 million page views during the day, versus 833,000 the day before.

June 2002

New report on federal intranets(http://www.businessofgovernment.org/pdfs/MahlerReport.pdf) sites HUD's intranet as a model.

Sept, 2002

Giga Corporation, a noted global information technology consulting firm, assessed the usability of HUD's website. The results were gratifying. The front page scored 80 out of 100. Most sites reviewed score in the 60s. As a whole, HUD's website scored 81 out of 91. In the area of "knowing our audience," HUD's website scored 10 out of 10. For "purpose of the site" - writing and organizing the site so that its purpose is clear - HUD, again, scored 10 out of 10.

David Lockwood becomes the first Region IX Web Manager.

Oct 10, 2002

HUD posts new "state" pages, eliminating the old "local office" pages. State pages add a new dimension to HUD's website: the local connection. Now, HUD's web audiences can navigate the site by topic ("what"), by audience group ("who"), or by state ("where"). The state pages bring consistency to the local information available on HUD's website, separate the "inherently local" information from the "inherently Departmental," and connect the dots - weaving together information from HUD and from other state and local resources. The state pages, comprised of 4,500+ files, replaced 20,000+ files that made up the old "local office" pages. A new content management application allows the Regional Web Managers to maintain their own calendars, on the state pages.

Oct 18, 2002

Web Team assesses FY02 accomplishments. Among them:

  • The popularity of webcasts continues to grow. In FY02, 79 new webcasts were broadcast and archived. The most popular webcast of the year - "Telecommuting" - was viewed 838 times. Webcasts have become very popular with HUD staff, particularly when they miss the "live" showing. More than 50% of all webcast views come from within HUD.
  • The use of emailing lists, to which web users can subscribe for ongoing updates on specific topics, grew dramatically this year. 45 new mailing lists were created. More than 62,500 citizens and business partners subscribe HUD's mailing lists. These technologies contribute to better customer service.
  • HUD's Internet website continues to improve in quality and to draw ever-larger audiences. In the past 6 months, an average 739,384 visitors used HUD's website each month. Compared to a monthly average of 606,654 visitors in the same period last year, that shows an average increase of more than 130,000 visitors per month. Visitors, on average, spend about 20 minutes per session, on HUD's website.
  • 667 pages of the website have been translated into Spanish, part of a major effort to make more HUD information available to our Spanish-speaking customers.
  • In FY 02, the Web Team conducted 15 Clinics, attracting 461 participants from 346 organizations. That brings the total participation in the 57 Web Clinics HUD has held over the past 3 years to 1,620 attendees from 1,243 organizations. 99% of the evaluations of the Clinics give them an enthusiastic "thumbs up."

Nov, 2002

Diane Fournier becomes the first Region I Web Manager

Nov 18, 2002

Deputy Secretary Alphonso Jackson issues updated Departmental Web Policies. New policies include procedures for updating HUD's website in an emergency situation.


January 2003

HUD piloted its new "real time chat" technology, christened "Person-to-Person." For the first time, citizens could come to the HUD website and get immediate answers to their questions from "live" HUD employees. No waiting. No voice mail.

In the 30-day pilot, Housing staff in the Richmond office responded to questions from 688 first-time homebuyers across the nation, handling as many as 66 requests per day. And the reaction? "This is a great service. Kudos to HUD!"

January 2003

The most comprehensive study of HUD's kiosk program to date, requested by HUD's Deputy Secretary, concluded that HUD's kiosks do, indeed, provide a valuable service to HUD's customers. The conclusions, based on observations of 1,500 kiosk users and interviews with 1,000 kiosk users across the country, revealed:

  • 78.4% of kiosk users come from low income households;
  • 73% are minorities;
  • 88% found the kiosks easy to use;
  • 87% said they did not have access to the internet; thus, the kiosk was a welcomed alternative; and
  • 74% were seeking information about housing - 39% were looking for rental housing and 35% were looking for homes for sale.

Most important, 74% of those who participated in the study did something with the information they found on the kiosks - talked to a housing counselor (13%), saw a home for sale or apartment for rent (21%), visited a rental office (9%), visited a HUD office (8%), or returned to the kiosk for more information (23%).

Feb, 2003

HUD rolls out espanol.hud.gov, the Spanish version of HUD's popular "Homes and Communities" website, making HUD one of the only government agencies to offer its website in Spanish. More than 1,000 pages have been translated into Spanish in this major effort to make HUD information available to our Spanish-speaking customers.

Feb, 2003

While use of HUD's website increased, web-generated email dropped from 9,000 per month in March 2002 to 5,000 per month in February 2003. That tells us that customers are finding what they need without having to ask. By redesigning the contact information on HUD's website, we streamlined the routing of customer email questions to the appropriate responder.

Apr, 2003

Deputy Secretary Alphonso Jackson releases the 2003 State of the Web report, highlighting accomplishments and plans for HUD's web products.

Sept, 2003

Brown University issues its annual e-government review (http://www.insidepolitics.org/egovt03us.pdf) of government websites. HUD moves into the Top 10, up to 9th from its rank of 27th the prior year.

Sept 23, 2003

HUD's Web Team conducts the 78th Web Clinic for HUD Partners. In 3 years, close to 2,300 partners from 1,700 organizations have attended HUD's free one-day clinics. Clinics are resulting in more and better websites, serving citizens. And they enhance good will between HUD and its partners:

"One of the most useful workshops I've attended in years. You guys should charge for this!" - Lincoln Hills Development Corporation, Indianapolis "In the past, I thought HUD's 'reaching out' was only a dream. But after this clinic, I know they are serious about empowering people." - Corinth Housing Authority, Mississippi

Dec, 2003

Interagency Committee on Government Information (ICGI) (http://www.cio.gov/documents/ICGI.html) forms Web Content Standards Working Group to recommend policies for federal public websites. Representatives of all Cabinet-level agencies and select independent agencies are selected for the Working Group. Candi Harrison is asked to Co-Chair the Working Group, and Sam Gallagher is asked to be a member.


Jan, 2004

Department of Treasury (Treasury Direct) becomes a kiosk partner, as a pilot. Kiosk content is expanded to include information about buying Savings Bonds, through Treasury Direct.

Jan, 2004

HUD Web Managers meet in San Antonio; hear international web content consultant and author, Gerry McGovern, speak on making web content an asset

Feb, 2004

HUD's Homes and Communities website records more than 1 million visitors in a single month, for the first time.

Mar, 2004

Kiosk partnership pilot is declared a success. HUD hosts informational meeting on kiosk partnerships attended by 35 representatives of 16 agencies. Buy-in for the first year of the partnership is $15,000 per agency.

June, 2004

ICGI accepts all 43 recommendations of the Web Content Standards Working Group and issues report to OMB (http://www.cio.gov/documents/ICGI/ICGI-June9report.pdf). HUD is a "best practice" for many of the recommendations. Working Group begins developing strategies to help web managers implement the recommendations and changes its name to "Web Content Management Working Group."

  HUD receives the "Patriot Award" from the League of United Latin American Citizens for espanol.hud.gov

July, 2004

HUD Web Managers use card-sorting usability testing to help redesign hud@work

Sept, 2004

3 agencies sign MOUs with HUD to become partners in the kiosk program: EPA, Education, and Labor

Sept, 2004

ICGI Web Content Management Working Group hosts governmentwide workshop and introduces the Web Content Managers Toolkit, a new website filled with resources, tips, contacts, and more for government web content managers. Candi Harrison and Sam Gallagher help with the Toolkit design.

Sept. 2004

HUD Web Managers meet in Tulsa; hear Dr. Annetta Cheek speak on using plain language in writing websites

Dec, 2004

OMB issues new policies for federal public websites, embracing all of the ICGI/Working Group recommendations and citing the Web Content Managers Toolkit at the source for implementation guidance. HUD begins to implement the few changes needed to meet the policies by December 2005.


Jan, 2005

First major state page refresh is released. Content is leaner, cleaner, and plainer.

Jan, 2005

HUD is one of two agencies asked to nominate a field web manager for the ICGI Web Content Management Working Group. Eric Ramoth, Region II Web Manager, joins the group. Rachel Flagg, Region X Web Manager, is asked to chair the Working Group's committee on "Monitoring Other Governments." Her committee analyzes web policies and procedures of state and local governments and other federal governments to find best practices for the Toolkit.

Feb, 2005

IRS joins Government Kiosk Project

Feb, 2005

HUD Web Managers meet in San Francisco

  • Hear Janice Nall from Usability University talk about usability testing
  • Learn about metadata
  • Learn about HUD's newest website: archives.hud.gov, which will be rolled out this year. Archives will contain historical documents.
  • Regional Web Managers are trained on new content management system that they can use to create and edit features on the front of the state pages and update links on topic level pages.

Mar, 2005

Government Kiosks debut. HUD information has been edited. Education offers content about free tutoring, free publications, and student loans; EPA offers content about pesticides; Labor offers content about workplace savings plans and retirement; and IRS offers content about earned income tax credit.

Mar, 2005

Happy Birthday, www.hud.gov! HUD's Homes and Communities website turns 10. Think what we can do today that we couldn't do 10 years ago.

Apr, 2005

ICGI Web Content Management Working Group hosts second workshop for government web content managers. Candi Harrison moderates a session on governance and Sam Gallagher moderates a session on metadata. Several HUD Web Managers attend.

May, 2005 Newly redesigned hud@work website - 2 years in the making - debuts. It is leaner and cleaner, accomplishing the goal employees wanted: less is more. The site went from 32,000 pages to 5,000.
July, 2005 Magda Mino joins the Departmental Web Team as a language specialist. After completing a reverse A-76 study, it was determined the government could provide translations to Spanish more efficiently and at a lower cost. Magda takes over translation duties for the espanol.hud.gov website.
Sept 30, 2005 HUD's original Departmental Web Manager and current Departmental Web Manager for Field Operations, Candi Harrison, retires. Sam Gallagher becomes HUD's sole Departmental Web Manager.


Jan, 2006 After years of relying on an old search, HUD's website is now served by a Google Search Appliance allowing users to search more efficiently and effectively. Over 100,000 documents are made available via this new service.
Feb, 2006 The Homes and Communities page launches a new online registration system. In the first six months, more than 5,000 people use the new tool to conveniently register for HUD-sponsored events. This new system allows HUD staff more time to manage their events, instead of performing tedious and error-prone data entry.
Aug 6, 2006 Brown University issues its annual e-government review (http://www.insidepolitics.org/egovt06us.pdf) of government websites. HUD is tied with USDA as the 2nd best in the Federal Government--our highest showing to date.
Dec, 2006 HUD implements Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds on hud.gov. By the end of December we have three feeds available to customers: Press Releases; Fair Housing; and a regional feed about Multifamily Housing in the Northwest.


Apr, 2007 HUD modernizes the HUD NextDoor Kiosks. Now called Government Information Kiosks, 72 kiosks with current technology and new cases are installed around the country. The kiosk communications were also updated, from dial-up modems to DSL. In FY07 the kiosks received 274,087 visitors.


Jan, 2008 A major step toward the vision of one website for HUD information is taken: the content from www.hudclips.org is moved to www.hud.gov. Over the last three months, 30,000 forms, guidebooks, notices, and other official documents were moved to HUD's website at www.hud.gov/hudclips.
Mar, 2008 HUD's Homes and Communities page reaches a milestone: more than 2.1 million unique visitors came to the website in March-the first time the website reaches the 2 million visitor mark. The most visited pages are homes for sale, local information, and how to buy a home.
Nov 10, 2008 Felisha Davis joins the Departmental Web Team as the second language specialist. She joins Magda Mino in translating content from www.hud.gov to Spanish for the espanol.hud.gov website


Mar 4, 2009 On the day President Obama unveiled his foreclosure avoidance program, HUD's website was featured on CNN. The host, Gerri Willis walked the audience through the information that was available on the web page and said "�there's all kinds of advice here, all kinds of good information, and it's really easy to navigate." The day turned out to be a record-breaker with 252,858 unique visitors to the site and a peak of 32,634 in a single hour.
Jul 1, 2009 Reflecting the Department's greater use of, and emphasis on, the web as a communications tool, the seven members of the Departmental Web Team and overall management and responsibility for the Department's websites is moved to the Office of Public Affairs.

Content Archived: November 17, 2011