2.9- What are the Programs offered by HUD?

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is an agency of the Federal government created in 1965 to support the housing market and home ownership. HUD's goal is to assure there is enough quality, affordable rental housing, improve the quality of life by improving individual housing needs and to strengthen communities.

HUD oversees the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) that was created by the Congress in 1934. FHA is a mortgage insurance program that enables the borrowers to obtain a loan when do not qualify for a conventional mortgage due to lower credit scores or a higher down payment.

The Fair Housing Act prevents discrimination in housing based on sex, race, color, national origin or religion. HUD investigates discrimination in housing and assures that the The Fair Housing Act is enforced.

HUD offers various assistance programs for prospective home buyers:

The Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG) is one of the longest running programs of HUD. It was enacted by Congress in 1974 by President Gerald Ford, through the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974. CDBG allocates federal grant money to communities to develop neighborhoods that have decent, affordable housing. The grants are intended to aid low and middle income residents so they can find suitable living environments near supermarkets, public transportation and employers.
Annual Grants are provided to cities or counties on formula basis. The Eligibility for participation is based upon population provided by the US Census Bureau and the amount of grant is is determined and allocated by HUD based upon a formula. HUD does not provide CDBG assistance directly to individuals, businesses, nonprofit or non-governmental entities. The assistance is provided through local municipality or county. Participation requirements vary from one grantee to another.

The Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCV), also known as Section 8, is the federal governments major program to assist the elderly, disabled and low-income families to assist them to afford decent, safe and sanitary housing in the private marketplace. HCV program allows eligible families to rent quality housing in the private market through Federal funds provided by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. The property for rent must meet certain standards and requirements for Health and Safety in order to qualify, Local Public Housing Agencies (PHA's) funded by HUD administer the vouchers. PHA pays subsidy directly to the landlord on behalf of the tenant. The tenant pays the difference between actual rent charged by the landlord and the subsidy by the government.