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NEW INFORMATION KIOSKS HELP PEOPLE BENEFIT FROM HUD PROGRAMS
WASHINGTON - Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo said today that computer terminals called HUD Next Door Kiosks are helping people in 46 cities benefit from HUD programs.
Cuomo said the consumer-oriented electronic kiosks are located in federal buildings, shopping malls, transportation centers, city halls, HUD's new storefront offices, grocery stores and other places accessible to the public.
The kiosks have simple instructions that allow them to be used by even first-time computer users, and are operated by touch with an onscreen guide to help the user maneuver through the menu. They provide information on HUD programs that can be found on HUD's Internet Web Page, which is at www.hud.gov
"Many families who need HUD's programs don't have computers to access information on our Web site," Cuomo said. "Our kiosks open a new on-ramp to the information superhighway for these families, making HUD more responsive and useful to the American people."
The HUD Next Door Kiosks have opened recently in the following cities:
HUD has been named a 1999 Electronic Government Pioneer by E-Gov, a national group that promotes technology innovation in government, for developing the new HUD Kiosk.
The kiosks offer services to help people get information about buying homes with the help of Federal Housing Administration insurance, locating affordable rental housing, getting job training or economic development assistance from HUD, finding a homeless shelter, or learning more about other HUD programs operating in the community.
Using the interactive HUD Next Door Kiosks, people can research lending and housing information and walk away with a print-out of HUD-approved lenders or a list of local housing counseling agencies that can advise them on their housing options. If people want to know what HUD properties are for sale in their area, they can push a button and print out a list or use the mortgage calculator to find out immediately what type of house they can afford.
Kiosks are also loaded with practical tips for consumers on ways to make their homes safer and ways to avoid housing fraud and scams. Because the content on the kiosks is Web-based, HUD can frequently update information.
To create this cutting edge technology, HUD worked with Gensler Associates, an architectural firm, to design the kiosks. HUD also worked with: Advanced Technology Systems, which assisted with content development; Eagle Collaborative Computing Services, which ensured hardware and software integration; and two leaders in kiosk technology - North Communications and Summit Research.
Housed in attractive surroundings decorated with pictures of the local community, the kiosks run a continuous "ticker tape" message board at the top that can be used to announce community events.
Content Archived: January 20, 2009