Department of Housing and Urban Development

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HUD Secretary Broke Law by Praising Clinton

Julian Castro fell foul of Hatch Act during TV interview

(Newser) - Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro may have wrecked his chances of becoming Hillary Clinton's running mate —with a Hillary Clinton endorsement. An Office of Special Counsel investigation has determined that Castro broke the 1939 Hatch Act, which restricts the partisan political activities of federal executive branch... More »

HUD: Stub Out Smoking in All Public Housing

Agency pushing for law to protect residents nationwide from secondhand smoke

(Newser) - HUD proposed a federal mandate Thursday that has some smokers fuming: a ban against lighting up in public housing nationwide, the New York Times reports. If the law passes, more than 3,100 public housing agencies would prohibit smoking in all living units, indoor common areas, administrative offices, and outdoor... More »

Obama Picks San Antonio Mayor for Housing Secretary

Julian Castro called possible future VP nominee

(Newser) - President Obama has chosen San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro as the next housing secretary, Democratic insiders tell the New York Times . Castro, who has been mayor since 2009, was the 2012 Democratic National Convention's keynote speaker, and he has been named as a possible future VP candidate, the Times... More »

Feds: Deaf Housing Complex Discriminates Vs. Non-Deaf

HUD squabbles with Arizona over funding

(Newser) - Packed with state-of-the-art equipment focused on the needs of the deaf, a new Arizona housing facility was seen as a step forward for the Southwest. Instead, it's become a lightning rod, reports the New York Times , as federal and state officials feud over alleged discrimination at the complex. As... More »

$700M in Katrina, Rita Aid May Have Been Squandered

24K families given up to $30K each

(Newser) - Officials lack "conclusive evidence" that up to $700 million in federal aid following hurricanes Katrina and Rita was used appropriately, a federal investigation finds. Some of the 24,000 families who received up to $30,000 apiece to elevate their homes used the money for another purpose, while others... More »

Congress OKs $50B Sandy Aid Bill

Lawmakers win battle against fiscal conservatives

(Newser) - Congress is sending a $50.5 billion emergency relief measure for Superstorm Sandy victims to President Obama for his signature. The Senate today cleared the bill, 62-36. Northeast lawmakers say the money is desperately needed to help recovery efforts from the one of the region's worst storms. The House... More »

To End Homelessness, Stop Buying Holiday Decor?

Americans will spend more than the $20B that HUD needs

(Newser) - If Americans passed on buying Christmas trees, illuminated reindeer, and poinsettias, and instead donated the money they would have spent to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, we could theoretically end homelessness. Or so says ThinkProgress . HUD's latest annual report shows that progress isn't being made quickly... More »

Housing Unit Pay Capped After Honcho Collects $644K

Obama administration extends pay limits

(Newser) - The Obama administration has decided that some public housing authority chiefs are being compensated a tad too generously. The Department of Housing and Urban Development plans to extend Congress-imposed limits, and set a salary ceiling of $155,000 for public housing agency officials, AP reports. Members of Congress were outraged... More »

Romney on Taxes: I'd Kill These Deductions

At $2M fundraiser, Romney also pledges cuts to HUD, education

(Newser) - Having pretty much wrapped up the GOP nomination for president, but still months away from the party convention, Mitt Romney used his "spring break" for fundraising—pulling in a hefty $2 million in events yesterday alone, reports MSNBC . Yesterday afternoon, a reception at the $14 million home of investment... More »

Detroit Woman, 101, Gets Her House Back

Feds will pay her taxes and allow her to return

(Newser) - A happy ending in Detroit: 101-year-old Texana Hollis is getting her house back. HUD foreclosed on the home Monday and evicted the bewildered woman , who was unaware that her son had failed to pay property taxes to keep a reverse mortgage afloat. After the story made national headlines, HUD officials... More »

Government Eases Foreclosure Rules for Unemployed

Homeowners with FHA loans can wait 12 months to pay mortgage if unemployed

(Newser) - The Obama administration is making it easier for out-of-work homeowners to stay in their homes, as it tries to revamp its troubled foreclosure-prevention program. Starting Aug. 1, the Federal Housing Administration will extend the period for unemployed homeowners to miss mortgage payments to a full year from three or four... More »

Bank of America 'Hindered' Feds' Investigation

Company refused to let employees answer questions, allow walk-through

(Newser) - Given the chance to come clean on its robo-signing scandal, Bank of America instead dug in its heels and “significantly hindered” the federal investigation of its foreclosure practices, according to a HUD official. According to the official's sworn statement filed in Arizona court, BofA lawyers refused “on... More »

Millions Wasted as Homes for Poor Sit Unfinished

'Washington Post' investigates massive issues with the HUD fund

(Newser) - Brace yourself: This is yet another depressing housing story. A yearlong Washington Post investigation reveals that the country's largest federal housing construction program for the poor has wasted hundreds of millions of dollars on "stalled or abandoned" projects and failed to hold "derelict developers" accountable. The Post... More »

Feds Sue Deutsche Bank Over Reckless Mortgage Lies

$1B suit may be first of many

(Newser) - The federal government is suing Deutsche Bank for $1 billion over shoddy mortgages that cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars. The suit accuses the lender of lying to the government while arranging federal insurance on mortgages that it had recklessly approved for poor credit risks, reports the Los Angeles ... More »

Bishops Fight for Right to Block Gays in Fed Housing

It's an issue of 'religious freedom,' say lawyers

(Newser) - An association of Catholic bishops is battling a pending regulation that would ban discrimination against anyone based on "sexual orientation or gender identity" in federally funded housing projects. The rules would force some religious groups to compromise their beliefs or quit the housing programs, argued lawyers for the US... More »

Fed Housing Policy Shift: Rent, Don't Own

Jackhammers Bush "ownership" policy

(Newser) - In a major housing policy shift, President Barack Obama will steer billions of economic stimulus dollars to create tens of thousands of federally subsidized rental units in American cities, reports the Boston Globe. The $4.25 billion initiative is a stark departure from former president George Bush's push to create... More »

FEMA Will Sell Katrina Trailers to Occupants for $1

Obama administration announces housing plan for victims

(Newser) - Nearly 4 years after Hurricane Katrina hit, the federal government is bringing its assistance program for displaced victims to a close by essentially giving residents the 1,800 mobile homes it has loaned out, the Washington Post reports. Occupants can buy their units for $1 or $5, depending on the... More »

City-Friendly Trail Talk Hasn't Translated

Obama has right ideas, urban activists say, needs more action

(Newser) - Unlike his immediate predecessors, President Obama is a pretty citified guy, and has ignited hope among urban-policy experts. Obama has made promising appointments, tweaked policy in city-friendly ways, created a new White House Office of Urban Affairs. But, advocates tell Salon, how federal government deals with cities is a tough... More »

NYC Housing Chief Named to Obama Cabinet

HUD secretary nominee served in Clinton administration

(Newser) - President-elect Obama has chosen New York City housing commissioner Shaun Donovan as the next secretary of housing, the New York Times reports. Donovan, an expert on affordable housing, held senior posts in the Clinton Department of Housing and Urban Development before taking the New York job, for which he runs... More »

Clinton Housing Chief Paved the Way for Risky Loans

How American Dream Became Economic Nightmare

(Newser) - The top housing chief of the Clinton administration helped launch a major financing wave that transformed the American dream of homeownership into reality for thousands of people—whether they could afford it or not, reports the New York Times. From his post, Henry Cisneros loosened mortgage restrictions for first-time buyers,... More »

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