The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) isn’t always considered one of the important federal agencies, but its programs and policies have a profound impact on the lives of millions of Americans.
According to Harvard scholar Matthew Desmond, the lack of decent, affordable housing can be a catalyst for generational poverty. HUD plays a major role in assisting lower income Americans with their housing needs. However, the majority of households that qualify for assistance from HUD don’t receive it. As the incoming HUD Secretary, Dr. Ben Carson has the power to change that and address the affordability crisis so that more families might have access to adequate housing.
In addition, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), a sub-agency of HUD, underwrites millions of mortgage loans, allowing lower-income households to qualify for mortgages at a lower cost than would otherwise be possible. By creating opportunities for affordable homeownership, the FHA enables Americans in lower income brackets to get affordable mortgages that would not be available through the private market alone.
To learn more about HUD’s important role, including the department’s work in combating housing discrimination and segregation, check out this article from FiveThirtyEight: