December 1, 2016

Creating Healthier Communities with Smoke-Free Public Housing

Photo caption: “Every child deserves to grow up in a safe, healthy home free from harmful second-hand cigarette smoke,” —HUD Secretary Julián Castro

Photo caption: “Every child deserves to grow up in a safe, healthy home free from harmful second-hand cigarette smoke,” —HUD Secretary Julián Castro

Over a year ago, Secretary Castro announced a proposed rule to make our nation’s public housing units smoke-free, with the support of public health leaders such as Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy and the Centers for Disease Control, which concluded that there is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke. Yesterday in Boston, Secretary Castro announced our final smoke-free rule that will require more than 3,100 public housing agencies to implement smoke-free policies in their developments. This effort will protect public housing residents from the harmful health and safety effects of lit tobacco inside apartments and in common areas.

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November 14, 2016

HUD’s Human Touch

Photo: Multitasking at its finest! Tony Landecker soothes the daughter of a Baton Rouge flood survivor while speaking to a landlord about rehousing her family.

My name is Tony Landecker and I work in HUD’s Minneapolis field office. My day-to-day job at HUD is working with public housing authorities in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul area where I help manage their housing units.

On September 24th, I volunteered to deploy to Baton Rouge, Louisiana to join the Disaster Response Team to help more than 60,000 displaced residents find homes after the devastating floods in August. Continue reading

November 9, 2016

Measuring Progress in the Housing Market

Housing Score Card

Our latest housing scorecard provides a detailed look at the recovery of our nation’s housing market and the success of the Obama Administration’s programs. In October, we witnessed progress among key indicators including a rebound in both new and existing home sales and the lowest level of foreclosure starts since May 2005. While the housing market is being reenergized, there is still a need to support programs that help more Americans recover from the Great Recession. Continue reading

October 28, 2016

Tomica’s story: Putting a human face to homeless data

Written by:

Tomica speaking at panel discussion

Recently, I attended a panel discussion about the value of data in the effort to end homelessness.  While all the policy wonks gathered to digest the data, one young lady brought the data to life, and reminded me that all the numbers represent real people. Homeless since she was 11, the now 23-year old woman named Tomica, told her story of her path to find a permanent home.

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October 13, 2016

Let’s Talk Resilient, High-Performance Infrastructure

Photo: Rendering of public open space along the Allegheny River at the 43rd Street District looking towards downtown Pittsburgh; rendering was completed for the Allegheny Riverfront Green Boulevard Plan funded by a 2010 HUD Community Challenge Planning Grant Source: Sasaki

Communities across the country are struggling to respond to a variety of stresses – from climate change to changing development patterns. Today, Secretary Castro announced the allocation of $500 million in disaster recovery funding to Louisiana, Texas and West Virginia to help those states and most affected counties recover from 6 separate Presidentially-declared disasters in 2016.  The impacts of Hurricane Matthew are still being assessed, but that storm cut a swath of destruction across 4 states – Florida, Georgia, and North and South Carolina.  Continue reading