Today, HUD’s new proposed regulations under its HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME) are published in the Federal Register.
HOME is the largest federal block grant to state and local governments designed exclusively to produce affordable housing for low-income families. Since 1992, the HOME Program has successfully assisted the creation of more than one million affordable homes for lower income families. However, Secretary Donovan believes the program can be strengthened to significantly boost the program’s performance at the local level.
“The HOME program is a success story for housing low-income Americans and creating jobs,” said Secretary Donovan. “However, there’s more we can do to improve performance and accountability. Through these new steps, we want to expand HOME’s impact and ensure that every dollar is used smartly to help families afford their homes. Since the day we took office, we have been committed to strengthening the HOME Program and ensuring that it creates affordable housing in an efficient and accountable way.”
Specifically, HUD’s proposed rule would:
- Require state and local governments to adopt policies and procedures to improve their oversight of projects, develop a system for assessing the relative risk of projects, and more closely monitor their HOME-funded sub-recipients;
- Require state and local governments to assess a developer’s capacity and the long-term viability of the project, before they commit HOME funds to a project;
- Require more frequent reporting by state and local ‘participating jurisdictions’ to enable HUD to more closely track projects once they’re under way; and
- Set a higher ‘performance bar’ by establishing specific timeframes for taking appropriate corrective actions against participating jurisdictions who fail to complete what they started.