Affordable Housing, Federal News, Homelessness

House Hearing on HOME Program

 

 In response to a series of articles recently published in the Washington Post criticizing the HOME Program, the House Committee on Financial Services held a hearing, "Oversight of HUD’s HOME Program," on June 3. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has been questioned in its ability to manage the program, as a number of housing developments funded through HOME have never been completed, resulting in millions of dollars of wasted funding.

The hearing was called after the Washington Post ran a series of articles that criticized a number of HOME projects and questioned HUD's oversight of HOME funds.

The HOME program provides federal block grants to state and local governments and is designed to produce affordable housing exclusively for low-income families. Lobbyists with national housing and homelessness advocacy organizations report that the Post article is having a damaging affect on Capitol Hill conversations around funding and policy on the entirety of HUD's programs, beyond just the HOME program.

Committee Chair Spencer Bachus (R-AL) stated that the purpose of the hearing was to investigate ways to improve HUD’s ability to manage the program, and not an attempt to eliminate HOME. Mr. Bachus also acknowledged that problems with the HOME Program date to prior administrations, and that he is confident that there is a strong commitment within HUD to improve oversight of the program.

Mr. Bachus identified three steps to improve the HOME Program:

  1. Contracts must be repaid for failed projects or misspent funds.
  2. Vigorous pursuit of those who defraud the government.
  3. Substantial tightening of eligibility requirements for developers.

To Learn More:
National Low Income Housing Coalition Article
HUD Information on HOME
The Washington Post Articles

 
 

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