What Is HUD?


Quick Answer

HUD is the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The purpose of HUD is to ensure that everyone has access to affordable housing. The U.S. government created HUD as a Cabinet-level agency with the passage of the Department of Housing and Urban Development Act of 1965.

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Full Answer

Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, also known as the Fair Housing Act, established the HUD Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity office and gave it the power to investigate claims of housing discrimination. HUD also monitors the Federal Housing Administration, which insures mortgages. In 1988, the Indian Housing Act made HUD responsible for the housing needs of Native Americans and Alaskan Indians. Other HUD program offices include Policy Development and Research, Government National Mortgage Association, Community Planning and Development, and the Office of Sustainable Communities.

Title V of the Housing Act of 1970 gave statutory authority for the establishment of HUD's office of Policy Development and Research. Its goal is to support HUD's efforts to create economically healthy communities. The Government National Mortgage Association, also known as Ginnie MAE, insures mortgage-backed securities. The Community Planning and Development office provides grants and tax-incentives to revitalize communities. The Office of Sustainable Communities' goal is to create affordable housing near jobs and low-cost transportation.

The first HUD Secretary, appointed January 18, 1966, was Robert C. Weaver. As of 2015, Julián Castro, sworn in on July 28, 2014, is the 16th and current Secretary.

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