HUD, Congress Respond to WaPo Affordable Housing Series

May 18, 2011 | By Adrianne Fielding | Post a Comment

The responses keep rolling in about The Washington Post‘s recent “Million-Dollar Wasteland” series on HUD-funded affordable housing projects, which I discussed here on Monday.  While the Post skewered the agency over $650 million in delayed or halted projects, the National League of Cities and others have come out in defense of HUD and its programs.

The agency itself spoke out on HUD’s official blog in a post titled to reflect “the obvious” that it claims the Post‘s reporter missed: “The HOME Program works!” It conceded the project delays that were the focus of the Post series, yet maintained that “to lead readers to believe the whole HOME Program is a failure and that HUD is ‘looking the other way’ is just plain wrong.” The agency also challenged the claims that HUD is impotent to recapture languishing funds, insisting, “we always force repayment of HOME funds when a project isn’t completed.  Always.  Not sometimes but one hundred percent of the time. ”

In the meantime, Congress seem to have read (or at least been briefed on) the Post series, as members from both sides of the aisle have called for an investigation into the affordable housing program.

While this certainly has folks spun up and at least temporarily puts a microscope on HUD, its business of providing federal funding continues to trundle along as usual.  The Promise Neighborhoods Institute blog posted information about a HUD webinar on June 3 regarding its FY 2011 Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grant Competition.

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