|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, November 7, 2011
|Media Contact: Arlyne Alston
OHIO HOUSING FINANCE AGENCY JOINS FORCES WITH FEDERAL AGENCIES TO REDUCE REGULATORY BURDEN ON AFFORDABLE HOUSING DEVELOPERS
Federal rental alignment initiative would eliminate duplicate physical inspection requirements in Ohio subsidized housing
COLUMBUS – Today, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Midwest Regional Administrator Antonio R. Riley, United States Department of Rural Development State Director J. Anthony Logan, and Ohio Housing Finance Agency Executive Director Doug Garver announced an interagency agreement to reduce duplicate physical inspections of local subsidized affordable housing – allowing developers and owners to focus on delivering more housing and resources to those in need.
As part of the Obama Administration's commitment to better coordinate federal rental policy, HUD, Treasury and USDA are piloting programs in Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Oregon and Washington to avoid duplicate inspections and reduce regulatory burdens for rental housing that is subsidized through more than one federal agency. Developers and owners often work with several federal agencies to house the lowest-income tenants. In the past this meant duplicate requirements and extra paperwork.
"This initiative is an important step forward in the administration's desire to streamline government policies and build strong inter-agency partnerships to serve the American public as cost-effectively and efficiently as possible," said Antonio R. Riley, HUD's Midwest Regional Administrator. "It is an excellent example of HUD partnering with federal and state agencies to eliminate burdensome requirements and provide seamless coordination for our customers."
USDA Rural Development's Rural Housing Service Administrator Tammye Treviño said "Any time we not only improve the efficiency of a government process, but also reduce the burden on our property owners and developers – that's a success. USDA Rural Development is proud to make this agreement with our colleagues at Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Treasury, for we know that reducing duplication between our agencies frees up time and resources that we can better spend providing affordable housing to those who need it most."
Ohio will officially launch the program at a signing ceremony to be held on November 30 at the 13th annual Ohio Housing Conference at the Greater Columbus Convention Center.
"OHFA has worked very closely with HUD and RD to examine ways in which we could collaborate and reduce the number of duplicative inspections," said Doug Garver, OHFA's Executive Director. "We are excited to see that our collective work has spurred policy changes that will impact the way in which we do physical inspections in the state of Ohio."
In response to the White House's Domestic Policy Council request for better coordinated federal rental policy, HUD, USDA Rural Development, Treasury and OHFA have worked together since April to craft a memorandum of understanding that aligns the often burdensome program requirements of different affordable rental housing government programs. The MOU to be approved by HUD, Treasury, and USDA Rural Development on November 30 is an administrative solution that better aligns state and federal affordable rental housing program policies.
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About the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
HUD's mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes: utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and transform the way HUD does business. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and http://espanol.hud.gov/. You can also follow HUD on twitter @HUDnews, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/HUD, or sign up for news alerts on HUD's News Listserv.
About the Ohio Housing Finance Agency
OHFA is a self-supporting quasi-public agency governed by an eleven-member board. The Agency uses federal and state resources to provide housing opportunities for families and individuals through programs designed to develop, preserve and sustain affordable housing throughout the State of Ohio. OHFA is also the administrator of the state's foreclosure prevention program, Restoring Stability: A Save the Dream Ohio Initiative.