Today, the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development released the report “Federal Rental Alignment: Administrative Proposals” which lays out a broad vision for improving the delivery and operation of affordable housing across the country. The initiatives in this report – many of which are already being implemented - will streamline federal housing requirements to support more efficient delivery of affordable housing, and help state and federal agencies’ staff to better serve low-income families who rent their homes. The Administration's goal is to make government work better by reducing the unintended consequences associated with the reality of housing finance today – multiple overlapping public investments on a given rental property.
The report includes ten initiatives proposed by the Rental Policy Working Group that will more efficiently align rental programs across government agencies, including inspections, financial reporting, appraisals, energy efficiency standards, and fair housing compliance enforcement, among others. And every one of these improvements can be done without legislation or new funding, through a combination of education, outreach, issuing Agency guidance, and rule changes.
This effort dates back to 2010 when the White House Domestic Policy Council created the interagency Rental Policy Working Group (RPWG) with the Departments of Agriculture, Housing and Urban Development, and the Treasury. The RPWG convened several conferences at the White House with local and state housing agencies and property owners and developers to discuss best practices in affordable housing delivery.
As we begin implementation of these initiatives, we look forward to sharing our progress with you and hope you will keep in touch with our efforts through the Domestic Policy Council Urban Affairs blog and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's site.
Derek Douglas is a Special Assistant to the President for Urban Affairs in the White House Domestic Policy Council