HUD Archives: News Releases

HUD No. 07-054
Brian Sullivan
(202) 708-0685
For Release
May 1, 2007

Local efforts seen as national model for cutting red tape

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development today presented the City of Bowling Green with its Robert L. Woodson, Jr. Award for reducing burdensome regulations that unnecessarily inflate the cost of housing. HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson recognized Bowling Green as a national model for reducing unnecessary, outdated, and duplicative regulations that put the cost of housing out of reach of police officers, firefighters, teachers, returning veterans, and many other hardworking Americans.

The Robert L. Woodson, Jr. Award is named in memory of HUD's late chief of staff and is designed to recognize state and local governments who aggressively work to reduce regulatory barriers to affordable housing. HUD's Senior Counsel Bryant Applegate presented the award to Mayor Elaine Walker during a meeting of the City of Bowling Green Commission.

"When working families can't afford to live in their own communities because of excessive regulations, it's time for some honest soul-searching," said Jackson. "Bowling Green is working overtime to remove excessive and burdensome regulations that have long outlived their usefulness and, in the process, they are putting out the welcome mat for hardworking police officers, firefighters, teachers and other civil servants -- people anyone would be proud to call "neighbor.'"

Bowling Green's efforts to reduce regulatory barriers include:

  • Waiving certain permits and fees for single-family housing built by charitable nonprofits or the city. Savings: $500 to $750 per home.
  • Donating city-owned land to nonprofit agencies to develop infill or affordable senior housing. Savings: At least $10,000 per lot.
  • Demolishing dilapidated structures on the parcels at no cost to the receiving agency. Savings: Dependent upon structure.
  • Streamlining the permitting process for most residential construction projects to within five days of application.
  • Relaxing subdivision regulations to allow a wider sidewalk on only one side of the street and a narrower street to reduce infrastructure costs. Savings: Eight percent on street construction and $25,000 in sidewalk construction.

As HUD's Field Office Director in Louisville, Krista Mills said, "It's clear that Bowling Green has earned the Robert L. Woodson, Jr. Award through its comprehensive, innovative, and cost-saving strategies to reduce regulatory barriers to housing production for its hard working citizens."

HUD's America's Affordable Community Initiative

Regulatory barriers to affordable housing are requirements, payments or processes that significantly impede the development and availability of affordable housing without providing a proportionate health and/or safety benefit. These barriers can impede housing rehabilitation, limit supply, and raise the cost of new development by up to 35 percent. As a result, millions of Americans are priced out of buying or renting the kind of housing they otherwise could afford.

In 2003, HUD made barrier reduction one of the Department's top priorities and created America's Affordable Community Initiative. HUD continues to review its own regulations to identify and eliminate those that effectively discourage the production of affordable housing. Meanwhile, HUD is aggressively working with state and local leaders to create more affordable housing-friendly environments around the country. More information about this important priority.


HUD is the nation's housing agency committed to increasing homeownership, particularly among minorities; creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans; and, 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 For more information about FHA products, please visit

Content Archived: May 10, 2010