Friday, June 10, 2011

HUD Secretary Donovan responds to Washington Post HOME articles

U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovan’s op-ed “The HOME Program I know,” appearing in today’s Washington Post, provides a good overview of the success of the program. It also highlights major flaws in the Post's recent analysis of HOME, which asserted that one in seven HOME-funded projects was delayed or abandoned.

 "Less than 4 percent of the projects in The Post’s sample of more than 5,000 HOME projects are currently delayed or canceled,” Donovan points out. 

By contrast, Census data reviewed by HUD shows that 34 percent of all new housing starts from 2007 to 2010 were delayed at least three years. This suggests that HOME projects were much less likely to be delayed than privately funded projects during the recent recession. 

Donovan also responds to the Post articles' criticism that HUD trusted "local agencies to police projects" by emphasizing that Congress set up the program as a block grant, in which communities are empowered to make their own decisions on how to use the funds to meet their housing needs and to select and contract with developers and monitor construction.

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