According to GAO: 160 Entities Involved in Housing Assistance

Posted on Sep 24, 2012

How many chefs ruin the soup?

Well, 160 would probably do that trick. And guess what - the Government Accountability Office (GAO) completed a study and found that"Housing assistance is fragmented across 160 programs and activities."

The federal government plays a major role in providing housing assistance to homebuyers and renters and to state and local governments.  It incurred about $170 billion in obligations for federal assistances and forgone tax revenues in FY2010.  Current fiscal realities raise questions about the efficiency of multiple housing programs and activities across federal agencies with similar goals, products, and delivery systems.  The report assessed:

  • The extent to which there is overlap or fragmentation in selected housing programs,
  • Federal collaborative efforts
  • Implications of consolidating selected housing programs

GAO says that opportunities exist to increase collaboration and potentially realize efficiencies among the agencies and two years ago it established an interagency task force to evaluate the potential for coordinating or consolidating homeownership loan programs at HUD, USDA, and VA.   HUD, Treasury, and USDA have been working to consolidate and align requirements for rental housing program.  Neither the task force nor internal efforts have taken full advantage of opportunities to incorporate key collaborative practices.

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