WASHINGTON - As part of the Obama commitment to create a more open and transparent government, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development today announced two measures to make information more accessible to the general public. HUD will begin publishing online a full historical view of detailed information on the physical condition of public housing and multifamily units across the U.S. and will offer citizens the opportunity to contribute to HUD's long-term strategic plan through a new interactive "suggestion box."
"Better government begins when citizens can understand and engage with their government," said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. "Today we are taking a huge step forward in offering the American public a more open and transparent HUD. President Obama and I recognize that it's important to give the public a better understanding of how we work and to give them a real voice in how we do business."
HUD and 15 other cabinet agencies are launching a series of innovative initiatives to increase transparency through the Administration's Open Government Directive. Like HUD, the agencies are making available information they expect will be useful to the American public that will assist them in making decisions.
HUD's Real Estate Assessment Center routinely conducts physical property inspections of a sampling of the 1.2 million public housing units and 1.4 million multifamily assisted housing units across the U.S. As part of the Open Government Directive, HUD will supplement its point-in-time property scores with a full historical view of the data, including the details for the five inspection areas that comprise the overall score - site, building exterior, building systems, common areas and units. Making these additional details available will enhance the dataset and enable researchers, advocacy groups and the general public to better understand the physical condition of the HUD-assisted housing stock, as well as changes in the stock over time. In addition, the online publication of these property scores will hold public housing authorities more accountable for the quality of their units. The data can be accessed at:http://portal.hud.gov/portal/page/portal/HUD/topics/physical_inspection_scores.
HUD has also offered the general public the opportunity to have input in the development of HUD's Six-Year Strategic Plan by creating a virtual suggestion box on HUD's website. Not only can the public make suggestions, they can also vote on others' suggestions. By engaging stakeholders through an open and participatory process, HUD will enable the American public to engage with HUD directly and provide input to create the most effective possible plan. The site can be accessed at http://www.hud.gov/ideasinaction
HUD is the nation's housing agency committed to sustaining homeownership; creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans; and supporting the homeless, elderly, people with disabilities and people living with AIDS. The Department also promotes economic and community development and enforces the nation's fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and espanol.hud.gov.
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development - Shaun Donovan, Secretary
Office of Public Affairs, Washington, DC 20410