U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan is outlining some budgetary plans which could potentially stimulate the national economy and neighborhoods in the Baltimore area. The budget has already been backed by President Obama when it was announced in May 2009. Relevant to the Baltimore area is the recent launch of HUD’s new Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities (OSHC).
(For those who are unaware of this U.S. Department, HUD is the nation’s housing agency responsible for sustaining homeownership, promoting economic and community development, enforcing fair housing law, and creating and sustaining housing opportunities for disadvantaged Americans).
As reported by Pillar Property Group yesterday, this budget aims to streamline HUD’s housing and community development programs, and to increase accountability and efficiency. Amongst HUD’s many goals through this new budget is the creation and retention of 112,000 jobs through the Department’s housing and economic development investments in communities across the country, including Baltimore.
According to a HUD press release,“The budget promotes innovative and comprehensive approaches to the nation’s ongoing affordable housing crisis by making targeted investments to help the economy grow, stimulate jobs, and keep people in their homes.”
Of particular interest to the Baltimore area is the creation of the OSHC. The implementation of OSHC seeks to revitalize distressed neighborhoods and increase their economic vitality. Implementation of these policies will hopefully stabilize real estate prices and increase consumer interest.
According to HUD’s press release a few weeks ago, “OSHC will be the center-point for all of HUD’s sustainability efforts. The average household spends more than half of its budget on housing and transportation, which have become American families’ two single biggest expenses. With OSHC as lead, HUD will work to improve access to affordable housing and transportation options, saving money for American families while allowing them more time to spend at home and less time traveling.”