Highlights of HUD Accomplishments 1997-1999
Here are highlights of Department of Housing and Urban Development
accomplishments under the leadership of Secretary Andrew Cuomo,
who took office in January 1997. (spanish version)
Improving HUD's Budget
- HUD's landmark 2001 budget, approved by Congress and signed
by President Clinton in October 2000, will provide affordable
housing or homeownership assistance for nearly 7.5 million families
in the coming year. The $32.4 billion in program funds represents
a $4.2 billion - 16 percent - increase over HUD's fiscal year
2000 budget. The new HUD budget includes across-the-board increases
in virtually every HUD program, including record funding for community
development and housing block grants (CDBG and HOME), record funding
for homeless assistance, record funding for Native American programs,
and the largest increase in housing vouchers in more than 15 years.
- Secretary Cuomo said, "This budget directly addresses the realities
of the changing economy, especially skyrocketing housing costs
in high job-growth areas that are creating a shortage of affordable
housing, not just for low-income families but for the middle class
as well. With this budget, we have the most resources we've had
in 20 years to meet the needs of America's families."
- FY 2001 budget highlights include the largest increase in new
housing vouchers for families in 15 years, including about 80,000
new housing vouchers to enable more families to find affordable
housing; FHA authority to insure $160 billion worth of home mortgage
loans - which will help approximately 1.2 million American families
finance an FHA-insured home in the next year; $5.1 billion for
the Community Development Block Program (CDBG); $1.8 billion for
the HOME Program, an all-time record; $75 million for Empowerment
Zones; a record $1.125 billion for HUD's award-winning Continuum
of Care for the homeless; housing for disabled persons increases
to $217 million, and housing for persons with AIDS or HIV increases
to $258 million.
Implementing Management Reform at HUD
- Secretary Cuomo unveiled his landmark HUD 2020 Management Reform
Plan in June 1997. Since then, the plan has been endorsed by HUD's
labor unions, successfully carried out by HUD's employees, and
praised by President Clinton and government reinvention experts.
- David Osborne, author of Reinventing Government, said in 1998
that HUD's management reform "as it is being implemented today
represents one of the most ambitious, fundamental and exciting
reinvention plans in the recent history of the federal government."
- A review by management consultants Booz-Allen & Hamilton concluded
in March 1998 that HUD has made "significant progress towards
achieving the many management reforms that are critical to making
the Department function effectively." Another outside review of
HUD's reinvention performed by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP concluded
in December 1998 that HUD's management reform plan is successfully
moving forward on schedule.
- A survey of HUD employees found that 70 percent believed the
Department has made reinvention an important priority - the highest
percentage of any of 22 federal agencies surveyed. The 1998 employee
survey was performed by the National Partnership for Reinventing
Government, which is headed by Vice President Al Gore. The Vice
President said: "Through REGO (the Reinventing Government Initiative)
- and thanks to the extraordinary leadership of Secretary Andrew
Cuomo - we turned HUD around."
- A 1999 report by the General Accounting Office of Congress said:
"HUD continues to make credible progress in overhauling its operations
to correct its management deficiencies" and called Cuomo's management
reform plan "a major contributor to this progress."
- The HUD Office of Inspector General issued the first clean audit
of HUD's financial statements in the Department's history in March
1999. This means that for the first time, HUD's financial statements
are in full compliance with all applicable federal requirements.
While the audit also summarized past criticisms that the Office
of Inspector General has made of HUD, the Inspector General wrote
that the audit "represents a considerable achievement for HUD,
and it further reflects continuing improvements in HUD's commitment
and ability to properly account for the funds entrusted to the
- In a key management reform, HUD created an Enforcement Center
in 1998 headed by an FBI agent and assisted by U.S. Attorneys'
offices to establish and implement the highest standards of integrity
in HUD programs. The Center continued the crackdown begun by Cuomo
on landlords who collect money improperly from the Department.
- HUD launched its first nationwide inspection program of all
affordable housing subsidized or insured by the Department in
October 1998. The inspections of 29,000 privately-owned, HUD-assisted
complexes were completed in the Summer of 2000, and some 87 percent
of the properties were found to be in excellent or good condition.
Regular follow-up inspections will be conducted in future years.
The inspections are designed to create better living conditions
for residents of public housing, of privately owned housing subsidized
under the Section 8 Program, and of housing insured by HUD. The
first group of physical inspections of public housing authorities
found that 87 percent of that housing was in good or excellent
- A report by the independent National Academy of Public Administration
released in April 1999, concluded HUD has substantially improved
its contracting operations. The report, titled HUD Procurement
Reform: Substantial Progress Underway, found that HUD has
taken a series of actions to improve its contracting operations
resulting in "substantial progress toward the goal of developing
and implementing a model procurement system."
- Under management reform, HUD in 1998 created two new categories
of employees called Community Builders and Public Trust Officers.
Community Builders work to empower America's people and local
governments to take the leading role in improving lives and strengthening
communities. These generalists serve as one-stop customer service
representatives in HUD's 81 field offices. Public Trust Officers
are HUD professional staff who guard against waste, fraud and
abuse by monitoring recipients of HUD assistance.
- In 1998, HUD began opening new storefront offices around the
country called HUD Next Door - a new type of consumer service
center designed to become a national model for more responsive
government. The first Storefront Office was opened in Washington,
DC in May 1998; another in Albuquerque, NM in February 1999; and
a third in Syracuse, NY in December 1999. New HUD storefront offices
will be opened in other cities this year and in the years ahead.
- Management reform is bringing new technology to HUD, including:
touch-screen computers set up in information kiosks easily accessible
to the public; hand-held computers used for inspecting public
and assisted housing where 6 million low- and moderate-income
people live; and innovative Community 2020 software that contains
detailed information about communities to help local officials
better plan for the future. The HUD Next Door Kiosk Team received
a coveted "Hammer Award" from Vice President Gore's National Partnership
For Reinventing Government.
- An independent report issued in March 2000 by the accounting
firm of Deloitte & Touche says the Federal Housing Administration
(FHA) Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund is in its strongest financial
condition since it was created in 1934 The study says the record
$16.6 billion economic value of the FHA's insurance fund is an
increase of $5.3 billion over 1998. The report also states that
FHA's capital adequacy ratio is 3.66 percent - far in excess of
the Congressionally mandated goal of 2 percent. In addition, Deloitte
& Touche found that FHA has made a remarkable turnaround from
just ten years ago. The FHA insurance fund had an economic value
of negative $2.7 billion in 1990.
- Technology has continued to change much of the way HUD does
business, including cutting approval time for FHA mortgage insurance
from a range of four to six weeks to a new range of two to four
days. HUD also uses technology to reach out to average citizens
by providing valuable information on its award-winning
website. Information is available about
housing counseling for first-time homebuyers, where to find a
FHA-approved mortgage lender, how to buy a "HUD Home," where HUD
funds are being spent in local communities, where HUD funded developments
and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Brownfields sites are
located (through HUD's new EMAPS program), and even empowers individuals
and families to file housing discrimination complaints on-line.
Transforming Public Housing
- Public Housing reform measures approved by Congress in 1998
adopted key reforms sought by President Clinton and Secretary
Cuomo. The reforms reduced segregation in public housing by race
and income, encouraged and rewarded work, brought more working
families into public housing, and increased the availability of
subsidized housing for very poor families.
- To deconcentrate poverty, moderate-income working families will
be admitted to public housing developments where the poorest residents
now are concentrated, and the poorest families will be admitted
to public housing where families with higher incomes are now concentrated.
The law also requires that at least 75 percent of Section 8 rental
assistance vouchers go to families with incomes below 30 percent
of the area median income. Median family income varies from city
to city, but nationally it is about $45,300. The law says that
at least 40 percent of newly available public housing units will
go to the poorest households. Public housing authorities around
the country will be required to submit plans to HUD to reduce
segregation by race and income in public housing.
- The law also is designed to improve living conditions and reduce
crime in public housing. It implements public housing reforms
that were proposed by the Clinton Administration to require improved
public housing management and increased program efficiency.
- HUD's 2001 budget will revitalize and improve public housing
developments with $575 million for a unique and successful program
called HOPE VI. HOPE VI - HUD's flagship public housing program
and this year's winner of Harvard University's prestigious Innovations
in Government Award - will replace more than 9,500 units in the
most dilapidated developments with attractive, mixed-income communities.
Under HOPE VI, HUD replaces decaying public housing with new housing
and helps residents get education, training and jobs to become
Expanding and Reforming Rental Assistance
- In addition to $13 billion to renew all existing Section 8 vouchers,
the 2001 budget provides about 80,000 new housing vouchers to
enable more low- and moderate-income families rent decent, safe
and sanitary privately-owned apartments. Last year, HUD received
60,000 new vouchers. Under a new HUD program - homeownership vouchers
- vouchers can provide families an avenue to homeownership. HUD
now allows vouchers to be used for mortgage payments instead of
rent - an breakthrough that will give thousands of assisted renters
their first opportunity to purchase and own a home.
- In 1997, HUD won Congressional approval of a plan to rescue
the Section 8 rental subsidy program from financial collapse,
averting a crisis that could have threatened up to 4.4 million
Americans with homelessness. The plan increased funding for Section
8 renewals by $4.6 billion, to enable HUD to renew all expiring
Section 8 contracts. In addition, HUD ended excessive rental subsidies
to private landlords under the project-based Section 8 program.
By cutting subsidies so that landlords receive rents from HUD
at market rates, the measure will save taxpayers nearly $1.6 billion
over five years.
- In a study of "worst case" housing needs released in March 2000,
HUD documented the need for a greater supply of affordable housing.
Following up on a 1998 study - which found that 12.5 million people
in 5.3 million very low-income households faced a housing crisis
- the March report showed that needs had increased to 5.4 million
households. The report, Rental Housing Assistance - The Worsening
Crisis, examined the period between 1991 and 1997. Among its major
findings: despite a robust economic recovery, worst case housing
needs increased more than three times as quickly for households
with full-time earners than for all other very low-income renters;
the housing stock affordable to the lowest income Americans continues
to shrink, with rental units affordable to families with incomes
below 30% of area median income declining by over 370,000 units;
worst case housing needs among minority households increased dramatically
while needs of non-Hispanic whites were stable; and both very
low-income renters and extremely low-income renters remain more
likely to have worst case problems in the suburbs than elsewhere.
- HUD took action in 1999 to lift a roadblock that had prevented
some Indian tribes from opening new low-income housing on their
reservations for months, although the housing was already built
or under construction. Tribes also faced the prospect of having
to return millions of dollars in HUD funds used to build the housing
- an action that could have forced some tribes into bankruptcy.
Increasing Homeownership and Helping Homebuyers
- In July 1999, Secretary Cuomo established new Affordable Housing
Goals requiring Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac - two government sponsored
enterprises involved in housing finance - to buy $2.4 trillion
in mortgages in the next 10 years. This will mean new affordable
housing for about 28.1 million low- and moderate-income families.
The historic action raised the required percentage of mortgage
loans for low- and moderate-income families that the companies
must buy from the current 42 percent of their total purchases
to a new high of 50 percent - a 19 percent increase - in the year
2001. Under federal regulations announced in October 2000, the
affordable housing goals for loans made to underserved areas will
increase along with the goal for mortgages to benefit families
with very low incomes. A special affordable housing goal for families
with very low incomes and low incomes - those with less than 60
percent and 80 percent of area median - jumps from the current
14 percent to 20 percent (a 43 percent increase). In addition,
a geographically targeted goal for underserved areas - central
cities, rural areas, and underserved communities based on income
and minority concentration - increases from 24 percent to 31 percent,
a 29 percent increase.
- More than 10,000 volunteers in 156 cities joined Secretary Cuomo
on Saturday, October 16, 1999 in Raise the Roof Day - a nationwide
volunteer effort organized by HUD to rehabilitate and build housing
for families in need. The event was designed to expand the supply
of affordable rental housing and increase homeownership for low-
and moderate-income families. About 1,800 houses and apartments
in bad condition were repaired and transformed into safe and decent
housing in participating cities across the counry during the day-long
activities. Construction also was begun on dozens of new homes.
Raise the Roof Day has created a partnership between HUD, local
governments, non-profit groups and businesses to organize volunteers
to repair deteriorated and often vacant housing and to build new
- The strong economy created by President Clinton's policies combined
with HUD's homeownership programs boosted America's homeownership
rate in the third quarter of 2000 to a new record-high, with 67.7
percent of all families owning their homes. Census Bureau data
showed that a total of 71.6 million American families owned their
homes - more than at any time in American history. The new 67.7
percent quarterly homeownership rate tops the previous all-time
record of 67.1 percent set in the second quarter of 2000. When
President Clinton took office the homeownership rate was 64 percent,
and by 1999 the rate for the full year was 66.8 percent - the
highest percentage of any full year in American history. In addition
to the historic national homeownership rate, all-time high rates
were set for minorities (48.2 percent), Hispanics (46.7 percent),
central city residents (51.9 percent), households headed by females
(53.3 percent), households earning less than the median family
income for the quarter (52.2 percent), and married couples younger
than 35 (61.0 percent). Because of the continued strong growth
rate among minority homeowners, a total of 40 percent of the net
new homeowners since 1994 are minorities - even though minorities
account for just 23 percent of the population.
- In a move to enable FHA to help more families become homeowners,
in March 1999 Cuomo asked Congress to increase the loan cap on
FHA to allow it to insure a greater number of home mortgage loans.
The FHA loan cap was raised to $140 billion in home mortgages
- at no cost to taxpayers.
- Homeownership is expected to rise even higher because homebuyers
across the country will benefit from higher FHA loan limits that
enable them to get mortgage insurance on typical homes for sale
in their communities. First-time homebuyers are the primary beneficiaries
of these increases, because without FHA insurance, many homebuyers
are unable to qualify for mortgages. On January 1, 2000, HUD began
insuring home mortgage loans at increased loan limits of up to
$121,296 in communities where housing costs are relatively low,
and loans ranging up to $219,849 in communities where housing
costs are higher. At the previous lower levels, many families
who needed FHA mortgage insurance to qualify for a home purchase
were effectively locked out of homeownership. The increased loan
limits are part of a regular annual adjustment HUD will make to
account for rising home prices.
- In October 2000, Secretary Cuomo announced a plan that will
save more than one million homeowners with Federal Housing Administration-insured
mortgages in excess of $1 billion annually in insurance costs.
The Homebuyer Savings Plan will reduce the premium requirement
to 1.5 percent of the original loan amount, saving a family with
a typical $100,000 FHA-backed mortgage $750; for larger mortgages
the initial savings may be as much as $1,650. The plan also will
eliminate FHA's annual premium of .5 percent on all loans once
homeowners build 22 percent equity in their home. These two parts
of the plan will save the typical FHA consumer an average of $1,500
over the life of a $100,000 loan.
- Families who get FHA-insured mortgages each year will benefit
from HUD's Homebuyer Protection Plan created in 1998 and expanded
in 1999. The plan requires a thorough review of a home's physical
condition before a home can be purchased with an FHA mortgage.
This new system - combined with tough new penalties against appraisers
who make inaccurate appraisals - will protect homebuyers from
being overcharged for homes and from buying homes with major defects
that until now could go undetected.
- In March 1999 HUD issued a policy statement designed to save
homebuyers millions of dollars a year by protecting them from
excessive mortgage broker fees and by encouraging improved disclosure
of mortgage broker fees and services. The policy statement deals
with the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), which
regulates mortgage loan settlement services. The statement says
that the compensation a mortgage broker receives from a lender
and from a borrower must be reasonable for the actual work performed.
- HUD, the National Association of Home Builders and the U.S.
Conference of Mayors signed a Memorandum of Understanding in February
1999 agreeing to work together to build new homes and apartments
in cities all across America. The Building Homes in America Partnership
is expected to add one million new homes to the urban housing
stock over the next ten years.
- In late 1997 HUD launched a program to return millions of dollars
in refunds to homebuyers who made excess payments to FHA. As of
April 2000, more than $16 million has been returned to over 19,000
- HUD's homeownership voucher initiative will allow families eligible
for Section 8 rental assistance to become first-time homebuyers.
A family must be a first-time homebuyer, have an annual household
income of at least $10,300 and, except for the elderly or disabled,
have at least one adult member who has been employed full-time
for a year. In addition, welfare income will only be counted toward
the minimum income requirement in the case of the elderly or disabled.
Vouchers may be used for 15 years if the mortgage is for 20 years
or longer, and or up to 10 years for a mortgage of shorter duration.
The voucher amount for homeownership will be the same as those
for rental assistance.
- "Healthy Homes for Healthy Children" was launched in 1998 -
a new life-saving initiative to help parents protect their children
from potentially deadly hidden dangers in their homes. TV home
improvement expert Bob Vila appears in television and print ads
that tell parents how to make their homes safe from injury.
- HUD ended a scheme by con artists that victimized senior citizen
homeowners by charging individuals thousands of dollars in unnecessary
fees for reverse mortgages. Reverse mortgages allow older people
to borrow against the value of their homes.
Fighting Housing Discrimination
- In testimony before the Senate Appropriations Committee on March
30, 2000, Secretary Cuomo announced he would convene a Task Force
On Predatory Lending to conduct hearings in major cities to examine
predatory lending. The vast majority of mortgage fraud and predatory
lending activities - including excessive fees, provision of credit
life insurance and prepayment penalties - occurs in the conventional
subprime lending market, a relatively new sector of the mortgage
market. HUD estimates that subprime loan volume has grown from
$20 billion in 1993 to more than $150 billion in 1998. Subprime
lenders generally do not make government-backed loans and often
operate outside of the current federal regulatory structure.
- Cuomo released a study in April 2000 - Unequal Burden: Income
and Racial Disparities in Subprime Lending in America - showing
that the number of subprime home loans and possible predatory
lending is skyrocketing in predominantly black neighborhoods and
low-income neighborhoods. HUD's analysis of about one million
home loans shows: that from 1993 to 1998, the number of subprime
refinancing loans increased ten-fold; subprime loans are three
times more likely in low income neighborhoods than in high-income
neighborhoods; subprime loans are five times more likely in black
neighborhoods than in white neighborhoods; and homeowners in high-income
black areas are twice as likely as homeowners in low-income white
areas to have subprime loans.
- The U.S. Treasury joined the Task Force On Predatory Lending
in April 2000, and Secretary Cuomo and Treasury Secretary Lawrence
H. Summers created a joint HUD-Treasury Task Force would hold
regional hearings on predatory lending in Atlanta, New York City,
Los Angeles, Chicago and Baltimore. In June, the cabinet secretaries
issued a joint report with recommendations on how to address these
- HUD's crackdown on housing discrimination, which was ordered
by President Clinton, is opening up new housing opportunities
to minorities and people with disabilities. As part of President
Clinton's One America Initiative, funding in HUD's 1999 budget
for programs to fight housing discrimination was raised from $30
million to $40 million - a 33 percent increase. This includes
$7.5 million for a new audit-based enforcement initiative. The
2001 budget boosts funding for HUD programs to fight housing discrimination
to $46 million.
- A nationwide audit will be held to examine and analyze housing
discrimination in communities across America. The audit will include
3,000 to 5,000 tests for housing discrimination, using African
Americans, Hispanics, Asian/Pacific Islanders and Native Americans
to examine and evaluate patterns and trends in housing sales,
rentals and mortgage lending to minorities. HUD will provide funds
to local non-profit groups and enforcement agencies to monitor
and act against housing discrimination.
Ending Gun Violence in America
- Secretary Cuomo and Treasury Secretary Lawrence H. Summers,
signed a breakthrough gun safety agreement on March 17, 2000 on
behalf of the Clinton Administration with Smith & Wesson, America's
largest gun manufacturer, under which the company agrees to make
major changes in the design, distribution and marketing of guns
to make them safer and to help keep them out of the hands of children
and criminals. The agreement requires Smith & Wesson to: 1) Install
mandatory gun locks and other child-safety devices on all guns.
2) Introduce "smart gun" technology in all newly designed handguns.
3) Bar gun sales - including gun show sales - without a background
check of the buyer. 4) Limit multiple handgun sales.
- In March 2000, Secretary Cuomo announced that HUD would continue
funding gun buyback programs around the nation after the House
Appropriations Committee dropped plans to block nearly $2.6 million
in HUD funds already awarded for buybacks of about 50,000 guns
in 80 cities. The buybacks are designed to reduce the toll of
gun violence, which each week claims an average of 600 lives and
injures another 1,800 people in crimes, accidents and suicides
around the United States. HUD gun buyback funds will be used by
housing authorities and police departments to buy back guns for
a suggested price of $50 each - either in cash or in the form
of gift certificates for food, toys, or other goods. In just the
first wave of HUD-funded gun buybacks, 43 cities purchased guns
under the Department's BuyBack America initiative. A total of
85 cities are participating in the first round of gun buybacks.
- Also in March 2000, Secretary Cuomo launched the Communities
for Safer Guns Coalition to encourage gun manufacturers to adopt
a code of responsible conduct, such as the one signed by Smith
& Wesson. In the first three months alone, mayors, county executives,
town supervisors and officials from almost 600 communities across
the country signed the Coalition's pledge to support giving a
preference to gun makers that have adopted the code of conduct
when their local governments buy guns for law enforcement agencies.
Revitalizing America's Communities and Creating Jobs
- Fifteen economically-distressed urban communities and five rural
areas became Empowerment Zones in January 1999, making them eligible
to share $3.8 billion in proposed federal grants and tax-exempt
bonding authority to finance sweeping revitalization and job creation
programs over ten years. This would have a dramatic effect in
these areas, which have high unemployment, weak economies, and
shortages of affordable housing. The second round of Empowerment
Zones builds on the experience of the program's first round, which
included 11 Zones (as well as 94 Enterprise Communities), most
of them designated in December 1994.
- Funding for Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) in HUD's
2001 budget grew to about $5.1 billion, a significant increase
from FY 2000's $4.8 billion. CDBG provides flexible federal assistance
to help local governments carry out a wide range of community
and economic development activities.
- America's Private Investment Companies (APIC) initiative is
slated to receive $37 million once New Markets legislation is
enacted, pursuant to the Administration's agreement with Congress.
A cornerstone of the President's New Markets Initiative, it will
create as much as $1.5 billion in pools of private equity capital
for large-scale business investment in under-served rural and
inner city communities. HUD received $20 million in FY 2000 for
APIC - a bold new vehicle for expanding the availability of investment
capital in distressed urban and rural areas. HUD's investment
will stimulate the investment of over $540 million in privately
issued, government guaranteed loans and an additional $275 million
in private equity capital. Funding for APIC will help tap emerging
markets here in America by closing the equity capital gap that
often undercuts growth and business opportunity.
- A dramatic HUD new report -Places Left Behind in the New
Economy - was issued in April 1999 by Secretary Cuomo during
an address at the National Press Club. The report points out that
while most cities are healthier than they have been in a decade,
significant numbers have been left behind. It concludes that "America's
economy offers the best opportunity in a generation" to help these
communities now because of low unemployment, strong business growth,
an aggressive urban agenda and the balanced federal budget. The
report builds on HUD's landmark 1997 and 1998 State of the Cities
reports and is based on studies of unemployment, population loss
and poverty of all 539 central cities in the United States. It
presents four main findings on the new urban challenge: 1) one
in six central cities (17 percent) have unacceptably high unemployment,
defined as 50 percent or more above the national rate; 2) just
over one in five central cities (22 percent) have steadily lost
population, defined as losses of five percent or more between
1980 and 1996; 3) one in three cities (32 percent) are plagued
by persistently high poverty, defined as rates of 20 percent or
more; and 4) one in seven cities (14 percent) face "double trouble,"
a combination of high unemployment plus either significant long-term
population loss or persistently high poverty rates.
- As of October 2001, more than 1000 Neighborhood Networks centers
were in operation across the United States, beating the original
goal of Spring 2001, by six months. Neighborhood Networks is a
community-based initiative which encourages development of computer
resource centers in HUD-assisted and/or-insured housing. Typically,
centers raise money and obtain equipment by building partnerships
with local businesses, non-profits, faith-based organizations,
and local colleges and universities. Centers offer programs for
children, adults and seniors in computer training, Internet access,
job readiness support, microenterprise development, GED certification,
health care and social services, adult education classes and youth
- In 1997 HUD created the Officer Next Door program to give police
officers 50 percent discounts on homes HUD acquires in foreclosures
in distressed neighborhoods to spark community revitalization.
Almost 3,000 police officers around the country have become homeowners
under the program. A similar program, called the Teacher Next
Door, was launched in March 2000 to dramatically reduce the cost
of homeownership for thousands of teachers. Through Teacher Next
Door, HUD will offer teachers homes that HUD owns in communities
across the country - at half price. The initiative was created
because offering teachers such a unique and affordable homeownership
opportunity will also help continue rebuilding the fabric of our
- Under HUD's new Good Neighbor Policy announced by Secretary
Cuomo in March 2000, single-family homes acquired through foreclosure
by the FHA will be eligible for sale to local governments for
$1 each whenever FHA is unable to sell the homes for six months.
About 3,000 homes will initially be eligible for sale to local
governments under the initiative, with additional homes available
- In July 1999, President Clinton released a HUD report titled
New Markets: The Untapped Retail Buying Power In America's
Inner Cities. The two major findings of the HUD report are:
1) America's inner city neighborhoods possess enormous retail
purchasing power - estimated at $331 billion last year, or one-third
of the $1.1 trillion total for the central cities in which those
neighborhoods are located. The report suggests that businesses
not yet operating in inner cities should not ignore that large
domestic market. 2) Despite their huge buying power, many of America's
inner city communities are "under-retailed," with sales that fall
significantly short of residents' retail purchasing power. The
HUD report concludes that retailers can find major profit-making
opportunities in low- and moderate-income inner city neighborhoods,
which it calls "undiscovered territories for many businesses."
- HUD expanded the Youthbuild Program in 1999 to provide on-site
training in construction skills, along with academic training,
to unemployed high school drop-out ages 16 to 24. Youthbuild participants
build housing for homeless and other low-income people, and in
the process learn construction skills that can land them good
Helping Homeless Americans Become Self-sufficient
- In the 2001 budget, HUD's award-winning Continuum of Care for
homeless persons received a record $1.125 billion. This represents
an increase of $105 million over FY 2000, and more than twice
the level of funding for homeless assistance at the start of the
Clinton-Gore Administration. This year more than 388,000 homeless
Americans will benefit from HUD homeless assistance grants that
help them get housing, job training, substance abuse treatment,
mental health treatment, child care and other services that enable
them to get permanent jobs and permanent housing. From 1993 when
President Clinton took office through the end of 2000, HUD will
have invested $8 billion in programs to help homeless Americans
- almost five times what HUD spent on homeless grants between
1987, when they first were created, until 1993.
- A Columbia University study concluded that HUD's homeless policies
spelled out in the Continuum of Care "have had a positive impact
on communities across the nation" and were an improvement from
past efforts that focused on short-term emergency shelter.
- Before he became HUD Secretary, Cuomo played a key role in developing
the Clinton Administration's approach to helping homeless Americans
become self-sufficient. The "Continuum of Care" provides transitional
and permanent housing assistance, helps people overcome problems
that can lead to homelessness, such as a lack of basic education,
good job skills, mental illness and drug addiction. The grants
are awarded to states, local governments and non-profit groups
based on factors that measure the effectiveness of locally-developed
plans to help homeless people become self-sufficient. In 1999
the Continuum of Care program received the Innovations in Government
Award from the Ford Foundation and Harvard University's John F.
Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. It was one
of 1,400 competitors for the prestigious award.
Content Archived: January 20, 2009
|U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
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Telephone: (202) 708-1112 TTY: (202) 708-1455