Housing and Urban Development:

Reform and Reinvention Issues

T-RCED-95-129: Published: Mar 14, 1995. Publicly Released: Mar 14, 1995.

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GAO discussed the budget and management problems facing the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), focusing on the: (1) long-standing management deficiencies and HUD progress in addressing them; (2) problems in public and assisted housing programs; (3) challenges that HUD faces in restructuring its programs; and (4) questions that should be addressed in considering future housing and community development policies. GAO noted that: (1) HUD has long-standing management deficiencies including weak internal controls, an ineffective organizational structure, an insufficient mix of staff with the proper skills, and inadequate information and financial management systems; (2) HUD efforts to address its deficiencies are still in their early stages; (3) HUD needs to address public and assisted housing problems including minimization of mortgage loan defaults, backlogged housing rehabilitation needs, increased vacancy levels, declining tenant incomes, and spiraling costs of providing housing subsidies to lower-income families; (4) HUD has recently proposed a major change in its program delivery mechanisms through its Reinvention Blueprint, which requires major legislative changes and places more responsibilities on states and localities to implement programs and develop performance measures; and (5) questions that must be addressed in reexamining federal housing and community development policies include deciding which policies best meet the needs of the people HUD serves, how these policies should be implemented, and what levels of government should deliver program services.

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