At the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, we work tirelessly to make a positive difference in people’s lives and communities. PD&R sponsors projects each year that further HUD’s mission and allow the department to maintain leadership in housing and community development research. The new fiscal year marks the launch of several new contracts that will take innovative approaches to research and community development. The new projects for 2014 include an expert convening contract vehicle, an affordable housing design competition for graduate students, and a new multidisciplinary research team. Several new research efforts focus on aspects of discrimination not previously explored.
Part of HUD’s mission is to maximize the efficiency and impact of the Department’s programs. Soliciting the advice of experts in the field can help HUD improve operations to serve communities more effectively. Through the expert convening contract, PD&R will obtain input and recommendations from experts in housing and community development on current issues and topics. The contract will allow HUD to assemble up to 14 forums (7 per year); the number of experts at each forum will vary depending on HUD’s specific needs. The topics for which HUD may seek expert input include performance metrics, current thinking or past experiences that can help HUD staff improve policy and manage programs more effectively, and ways HUD can increase its accountability and ensure effective use of public resources. HUD will also produce a written summary of the results of these forums and the practical advice they generate.
HUD will also extend opportunities to graduate students, allowing them to contribute to the field of housing and community development, as well as fostering the capacity of future leaders in the field. The Innovation in Affordable Housing Design Student Competition contract involves providing assistance and support with topical knowledge in housing and community development, planning, logistics, and outreach services for a new award program for graduate students.
The Choice Neighborhoods initiative was introduced in 2009 as a successor to the HOPE VI program, a vital part of HUD's efforts to revitalize severely distressed public housing in the nation. Choice Neighborhoods builds on the successes of HOPE VI and addresses its shortcomings. It requires a more comprehensive approach to neighborhood revitalization that extends beyond housing transformation to include positive outcomes in education.
Low-income older adults in rural Greene County, Mississippi have a new option for quality, sustainable living. The 50-unit McIntosh Homes is the first subsidized affordable housing development built in the town of Leakesville in nearly three decades and has been certified as an Enterprise Green Community for its commitment to environmental and economic sustainability.
In New Orleans, a person born in the city’s Lakeview neighborhood has a life expectancy that is a stunning 25 years longer than one born near Iberville, just a few miles down Interstate 10. In Washington, DC, residents of one neighborhood near Metro’s Red Line can expect to live 7 years fewer than those who live only a few stops further away.
In recent years, research advances have greatly enhanced public and private efforts to preserve affordable housing. Several housing and urban policy research centers have used multilayered databases and sophisticated mapping tools to better understand the nation's current stock of privately owned and publicly subsidized housing.
The data in the October 2013 Scorecard show important progress across many key indicators. Homeowners’ equity jumped $570 billion, or 6.5 percent, in the second quarter of 2013 and is now at $9,286 billion ($9.286 trillion), its highest level since the fourth quarter of 2007, according to the Federal Reserve. Homeowners’ equity has risen sharply since the beginning of 2012, with equity up 50 percent or $3.1 trillion during this period. The Administration's foreclosure mitigation programs continue to benefit millions of homeowners as the housing market recovers from an unprecedented crisis.
Click here to send your comments and suggestions.