ST. PAUL, Minn., Nov 14, 2011 -- Today, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Minneapolis Field Office Director Dexter Sidney, United States Department of Rural Development State Director Colleen Landkamer and Minnesota Housing Commissioner Mary Tingerthal announced an interagency agreement to reduce duplicate physical inspections of local subsidized affordable housing– allowing developers and owners to focus on delivering more housing and resources to those in need.
As part of the Obama Administration’s commitment to better coordinate federal rental policy, HUD, Treasury and USDA are piloting programs in Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Oregon 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.
“This initiative is an important step forward in the administration’s desire to streamline government policies and build strong inter-agency partnerships to serve the American public as cost-effectively and efficiently as possible,” said Dexter Sidney, HUD’s Minneapolis Field Office Director. “It is an excellent example of HUD partnering with federal and state agencies to eliminate burdensome requirements and provide seamless coordination for our customers.”
USDA Rural Development’s Minnesota Director Colleen Landkamer said “Any time we improve the efficiency of a government process, and reduce the burden on our property owners and developers – that’s a success. USDA Rural Development is proud to make this agreement with our colleagues at Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Treasury, for we know that reducing duplication between our agencies frees up time and resources that we can better spend providing affordable housing to those who need it most.”
The new partnership estimates eliminating duplicative inspections that may result in more than 20,000 fewer inspections per year at an annual savings of more than $9million for HUD. In addition, estimated savings to property owners, operators, developers, investors and lenders could total more than $45 million per year.
“We have worked very closely with our partners at HUD and Rural Development and look forward to continuing to find new ways to better meet the needs of our partners who help deliver affordable housing to Minnesota,” said Mary Tingerthal, Commissioner of Minnesota Housing.
In response to the White House’s Domestic Policy Council request for better coordinated federal rental policy, HUD, USDA Rural Development, Treasury and Minnesota Housing have worked together since April to craft a memorandum of understanding that aligns the often burdensome program requirements of different affordable rental housing government programs. The MOU to be approved by HUD, Treasury, and USDA Rural Development is an administrative solution that better aligns state and federal affordable rental housing program policies.