|HUD No. 05-010
July 21, 2005
JACKSON RECOGNIZES CITY OF OGDEN FOR INCREASING ACCESS TO AFFORDABLE HOUSING
City of Ogden cited as a model for removing regulatory barriers that drive up housing costs
WASHINGTON � They are teachers, police officers, nurses, firefighters and returning veterans�the sort of people anyone would be happy to call a neighbor. In some communities, however, excessive regulations are creating barriers that artificially drive up housing costs on working families. Today, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson recognized the City of Ogden for its efforts in breaking down these barriers and creating a more inclusive environment for families struggling to afford decent homes.
As more Americans become homeowners, rising housing costs are pricing out millions of hard-working families who hope to find homes close to their jobs and within their budgets. Often, regulations that drive up the cost of housing are to blame.
HUD is taking a fresh look at these barriers to affordable housing with its America's Affordable Communities Initiative. This initiative is designed to combat the outdated, excessive and duplicative regulations that significantly increase the cost and limit the supply of affordable housing and is motivating communities like City of Ogden to take a look at their housing regulations and determine which ones no longer serve a valid public purpose.
"We know that regulatory barriers can increase housing costs by as much as 35 percent, making it impossible for many working families to live in the cities where we work," said Jackson. "Other communities around the country can learn from Ogden City's efforts to open more doors for the very people who should be our neighbors."
A specific initiative of note in Ogden is an Infill Housing zoning regulation for the East Central neighborhoods that allow for single-family homes on small lots. These lots can be 25% less in area (3,750 sq. ft.) that the required lot size. This small lot allowance can reduce the land cost of housing and provide homes designed for home-ownership rather than investor owned. Additionally, the City's subdivision ordinance has been amended removing the Planning Commission from the final approval stages and making those approvals administrative. This reduces the time for subdivision approval by at least one month.
The Affordable Communities Initiative focuses on local, county, and state efforts to revise statutes and ordinances to promote affordability as well as reduce, defer, or eliminate burdensome regulations, fees, processes and procedures that significantly restrict the development of affordable housing without providing a commensurate health or safety benefit. These barriers can effectively exclude working individuals from living in the communities where they work. In addition, senior citizens often find it impossible to locate suitable homes or apartments near their adult children, and young families are unable to find a home in the communities where they were raised.
By recognizing communities like the City of Ogden, HUD hopes to encourage others around the country to reexamine their own regulatory climate and work closely with builders and urban planners to find creative solutions to allow for the development of more affordable housing.
"We recognize that what might work here in Ogden may not be appropriate in other parts of the country," said John Carson, HUD's Regional Director. "The City of Ogden's leadership in this area reminds us how important it is to work together to reduce barriers that stifle the development of housing affordable to our teachers, nurses, police officers or returning veterans."
HUD is the nation's housing agency committed to increasing homeownership, particularly among minorities, creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans, supporting the homeless, elderly, people with disabilities and people living with AIDS. The Department also promotes economic and community development as well as enforces the nation's fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet and espanol.hud.gov.
NOTE: For more information about America's Affordable Communities Initiative, visit http://archives.hud.gov/initiatives/affordablecommunities/index.cfm.