Portland, OR, Nov 07, 2011 -- Today, USDA Rural Development, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and state housing officials have announced a new interagency agreement to reduce duplicate physical inspections of local subsidized affordable housing. The effort will allow developers and owners of affordable rental housing to focus on delivering more housing and resources to those in need. The agencies will officially launch the program at a signing ceremony expected to be held in Salem later this month.
As part of the Obama Administration’s commitment to better coordinate federal rental policy, HUD, Treasury and USDA Rural Development are piloting programs in Oregon, Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Washington to avoid duplicate inspections and reduce regulatory burdens for rental housing that is subsidized through more than one federal agency. Developers and owners often work with several federal agencies to house the lowest-income tenants. In the past, this meant duplicate requirements and extra paperwork.
“Any time we not only improve the efficiency of a government process, but also reduce the burden on our property owners and developers – that’s a success,” said USDA Rural Development’s State Director Vicki Walker. “USDA Rural Development is proud to make this agreement with our colleagues at HUD and Treasury. We know that reducing duplication between our agencies frees up time and resources that can be better spent providing affordable housing to those in need.”
Oregon Housing & Community Services Executive Director Margaret Van Vliet said, “The State of Oregon is eager to take this step with our federal partners. Reducing the burden on our property owners will be a big win. And being more strategic about how we protect the living environments of Oregon’s vulnerable populations will be an even bigger win for the people we’re all here to serve.”
In response to the White House’s Domestic Policy Council request for better coordinated federal rental policy, HUD, USDA Rural Development, Treasury and Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS) have worked together to craft a memorandum of understanding that aligns the often burdensome program requirements of different affordable rental housing government programs. The MOU to be signed by HUD, Treasury, USDA Rural Development and OHCS in the coming weeks is an administrative solution that better aligns state and federal affordable rental housing program policies.
The following Federal and state assisted-housing programs will be affected by this agreement:
• HUD’s Section 8 Project-Based Rental Assistance Program
• HUD’s Multifamily Mortgage Insurance Program
• HUD’s Direct Loan and Capital Advance
• HUD’s HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME)
• HUD’s Section 8 Project Based Voucher Program
• Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Allocation
• RD’s Section 515 Rural Rental Housing Program
• HFA Mortgage Loan Financing
USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, administers and manages housing, business and community infrastructure and facility programs through a national network of state and local offices. Rural Development has an active portfolio of more than $155 billion in affordable loans and loan guarantees. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice), or (202) 720-6382 (TDD).