HUD hosts national symposium on regulatory reform: Recognizes local communities for cutting red tapeMortgagePress.comHUD, housing symposium, Steve Preston, affordable housing, America's Affordable Communities Initiative
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development hosted a
national affordable housing symposium in Washington, D.C. on Oct.
17 to confront excessive and unnecessary regulations that are
restricting the production of affordable housing for working
families. HUD recognized several communities for reducing or
eliminating regulatory barriers to affordable housing.
The following communities were selected among more than 130
others for stimulating the production of affordable housing through
regulatory reform: Austin, Texas; Bartlesville, Oklahoma; Bowling
Green, Kentucky; Montgomery County, Maryland; Minneapolis,
Minnesota; Traverse City, Michigan; Commonwealth of Puerto Rico;
and Savannah, Georgia.
"When it comes to encouraging the production of affordable
homes, these communities are getting the job done," said HUD
Secretary Steve Preston. "We ought not to stand in the way of
affordable housing when so many of our neighbors are being forced
to live far away from the places where they work."
Among HUD's highest priorities is an effort to help communities
across America to identify and overcome regulatory barriers that
impede the availability of affordable housing. In 2003, America's
Affordable Communities Initiative was launched to stimulate a
national dialogue on ways to reduce these barriers. Last year, HUD
issued a National Call to Action to further encourage local
communities to revisit their regulatory landscape and reduce or
eliminate those barriers to affordable housing. Since then, more
than a 140 State and local governments have answered HUD's call and
are actively seeking to reduce these artificial influences to the
cost of housing.
Over the years, HUD has found that regulations such as
out-of-date building codes; duplicative or time-consuming design
review or approval processes; burdensome rehabilitation codes;
restrictive or exclusionary zoning ordinances; unnecessary or
excessive fees or taxes; extreme environmental restrictions; and
excessive or "gold-plated" land development standards, all
contribute to higher housing costs and production delays. This has
a direct impact on middle-income individuals such as teachers,
firefighters, police officers, returning veterans, nurses, and
others. By removing affordable housing barriers, HUD estimates
these communities could reduce development costs by as much as 35
percent, allowing millions of working families to buy or rent
suitable housing that they could not otherwise afford.
In addition, HUD created a Web-based clearinghouse that local
communities can use as a resource in developing their own solutions
to regulatory barriers. All of this is designed to cultivate a
spirit of partnership so that by removing regulatory barriers,
local communities can open more doors to working American families
who wish to buy or rent an affordable home in the community of
For more informaiton, visit www.hud.gov.