Administration Proposing Significant Government Reorganization – Impact on Housing Programs

The administration recently released Delivering Government Solutions in the 21st Century: Reform Plan and Reorganization Recommendation. This series of recommendations would reorganize how the federal government works and includes a number of revisions that would impact the affordable housing community.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Housing Loan Guarantee Program and the rural rental assistance program would be transferred to the Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD).

HUD’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program would be consolidated with Economic Development Assistance programs from the Economic Development Administration and reorganized under a newly created Bureau of Economic Growth within the Department of Commerce.

A permanent Council on Public Assistance would be created, composed of Health & Human Services (HHS), which would also be renamed the Department of Health & Public Welfare (HPW). The USDA nutrition assistance programs would be under the purview of this new department. This new “Council” would coordinate the efforts of HPW, HUD, USDA, and the Department of Education with regard to all public assistance programs, including the goal of implementing federal wide work requirements for participation in these programs.

At this point, this is only a proposal, and Congressional action is required for any of the proposed changes. Owners of properties with assistance through the Rural Housing Service (RHS) should be aware however that it is possible that at some point in the future, oversight responsibility for rural housing projects will move from Rural Development to HUD.