TheHousing and Urban Development Department
TheHousing and Urban Development Department
Theincreasing number of people who cannot secure decent housing isenough to raise the concern of environmental and health bodies. Moreimportantly, the swelling population of the elderly who cannot affordto put up houses necessitates a government intervention to help themlive in safe conditions. The Department of Housing and UrbanDevelopment (HUD) is a federal body in the Cabinet Department of theUnited States government. The body was conceived by President LyndonJohnson to develop housing policies, especially in the metropolitanareas. This paper will discuss the need for strategic change in theHousing and Urban Development in the United State by detailing itSWOT analysis and 4-D analysis.
TheHousing and Urban Development Act of 1965 outline that departmentwould implement strong, sustainable and inclusive communities throughthe provision of affordable housing. It would also protect low-incomeconsumers from inflated rents and improve the general quality of life(Schwartz, 2014). Currently, the department operates a budget ofapproximately $48.3 billion that is distributed through the functionsof management and administration, public and Indian housing,community planning and development and offsetting receipts (Schwartz,2014). Although the body does not operate to make profits, it hasbeen on the spotlight in various instances for selling some units forprofits. Additionally, it has been criticized for remaining rigid inthe provision of housing despite the rising need for safe andaffordable homes, especially for the low-income elderly populations.
Whythe HUD is in need for a Strategic Change
Theprimary mandate of the HUD is to provide affordable housing to theAmerican citizens. When the body was formed in 1965, the number ofthe elderly persons was not as high as they are today in the country.The department has remained rigid, and it has reduced the number ofhouse units offered every year to low-income citizens (Schwartz,2014). According to the Census Bureau, the number of senior citizensabove 65 years will be approximately70 million by 2030 (Goering,2012). According to Schwartz (2014), the current 4,600 units beingoffered every year will almost be negligible compared with the need.In 1970, HUD was offering up to 20,000 units annually compared to the4, 600 being completed in 2015 and 2016.
Inaddition, the strategic planning for the HUD has not changed muchsince its inceptions in terms of the areas given attention. Thedepartment concentrates on giving housing in metropolitan areas thathave been on record for having the highest number of elderlypopulations with low income. According to Pastalan (2014), the numberof senior citizens in the rural areas has swelled, and this hasintensified the need for housing. The problem exacerbates because theelderly persons have also been under the heavy burden of health costand their capacity to secure decent and safe housing has been greatlyaffected.
Thereare various aspects that give the HUD a competitive edge whileoffering its services. First, the Department was established by anAct of Congress, and this ensures that it receives constant fundingfrom the government. Currently, the federal government allocatesabout $48.3 billion (Tsemberis, Kent & Respress, 2012).Additionally, having been on the support of the Congress, theactivities of the department are accepted in all the states. Thegovernment funding also makes it non-profit making and this enablesthe officials to concentrate on the needs of the consumers. Thequality, safety, and affordability of the houses are prioritized.
Anotheraspect of strength lies in the collaboration between the HUD and theDepartment of Health and Human Services. According to Gilbert (2014),the increasing cost burden among the senior citizens cannot beignored since it is seen as a barrier towards achieving quality life.While deciding on the plans and areas to put up houses, the HUD andthe DHHS collaborate to ensure that the elderly persons accessquality care.
First,the department has been under heavy criticism for focusing on themetropolitan areas at the expense of other rural localities duringits inception of the body the government had not anticipated theincreased number of poor, elderly persons especially in the ruralareas. Most of the strategic plan and resource allocation has beendirected to reducing the housing crisis in metropolitan areas (Bloom,2014). However, HUD has demonstrated rigidity in adapting to thechanges in housing needs of those living in localities that do notfall under the metropolitan areas.
Secondly,it is interestingly ironical that the number of house units beingcompleted every year has dropped significantly despite the swellingpopulation of the needy persons. For instance, in 1970, thedepartment made ready 20,000 units for occupation. This is highlycontrasting to the current 4,600 units that are currently completedevery year (Schwartz, 2014). With the number of the elderly personswho cannot afford decent housing, there is a need to have more unitsbeing given out every year both in the metropolitan and rural areas.
HUDcan take advantage of section 202 reforms that were signed into lawby President Obama. The law incorporates the benefits thateconomically disenfranchised citizens can benefit from includinglow-income housing, Tax Credits, and the HOME program. These offer aplatform for collaboration and reaching out to the neediest personsin the community in terms of housing. The rationale for this is thatHUD may not solve the housing problem among the elderly personsadequately due to the stringent budgetary allocation and the rapidlygrowing number of the needy population.
HUDis facing the challenge of the rising population of the elderlypersons. According to the Census Bureau, the number of people aged 65years and over will be more than 70 million (Schwartz, 2014). Thiswill put the department under pressure to provide affordable housingto the citizens and without a change of the strategic plan it islikely to be overwhelmed.
Inaddition to the swelling population, the number of low-income elderlycitizens is on the rise. This has been instigated by the intensifyinghealth burden (Hall & Greenman, 2013). A report by the HUD in2013 dubbed Worst Case Housing Needs Report, about 1.5 millionhouseholds with elderly persons earn less than 30% of the averagenational income (Schwartz, 2014). The expenditure on lifestylediseases by the elderly persons results in the prioritization ofhealth as opposed to housing. The repayment period that the seniorcitizens take may extend, and this may affect the number of housesbeing put up by the department annually (Goering, 2012).
AppreciativeAnalysis of HUD using the 4-D Cycle
Variousprocesses work well with the department, and they have contributed toits continued significance over the years. The structure of thedepartment is comprehensively constituted to reflect the variousneeds of the citizens. The functions of the various subsections aremandated to oversee adherence to the building regulations, fieldpolicy management, general counsel, lead and hazard control,neighborhood partnerships, public affairs, labor relations andsustainable housing development (Schwartz, 2014). The division ofroles in the department makes it possible for it to put up housesthat are compliant with both health and construction regulations.
Theresearch and development process of the department needs torevitalize its approach to the housing needs in the country. Therationale for this is that the profile of the senior citizens who arein need of housing continues to change. For example, due to theincreasing burden on health, most of the aged citizens are spendingmost of their resources on health, and they cannot afford decenthousing. Through research, HDU can develop a viable strategic planthat encompasses the low-income senior citizens living in themetropolitan and the rural areas (Schwartz, 2014). In addition, theresearch process can help to inform the department on the projectionsmade by other federal bodies that advise on population growth acrossthe age groups.
Prioritizingon increasing the number of units being availed by the department canbe imperative in solving the current housing shortage. Designing astrategic plan that extends its wings to cater for the needs of theincreasing population of individuals who are 65 years and older canimprove the relevance of the department in the current society. Therationale for this is that there is a projection of 75 million seniorcitizens by 2030 (Schwartz, 2014). As a federal department, HUDshould address the needs of the growing population by presenting aproposal to the government for increased funding as well ascollaborating with other housing development and health agencies thatseek to assist citizens to live quality lives.
Theimplementation of the design can be effective if done timely becausethe Department has been in practice for more than half a decade. Themove would start by presenting a strategic planning for fundingpurposes. It would also the identification of the needy populationsboth in the metropolitan and rural locales. However, the federalgovernment through the Department may not be in a position to offerall the needy citizens decent housing (Bloom, 2014). Collaborationwith other interested groups can be instrumental in reducing thepressure on HUD.
Comparisonof Outcomes on the basis of SWOT and 4-D Analysis
Fromthe two tools, it is evident that there is a gap that exists in theservices provided by the department. A major weakness of HUD is thatit has not made significant efforts to address the needs of theswelling elderly population. This is also captured in the dreamprocess of the 4-D analysis. Secondly, there is an opportunity tocollaborate with other agencies that provide housing to the publicthrough affordable plans. The department should exploit theopportunity to achieve the destiny as outlined in the 4-D analysis.Finally, the outcomes of the plan would highly depend on theeffectiveness of the various sub-divisions that are mandated withvaried roles.
Conclusively,HUD has been instrumental in providing affordable housing to thecitizens of the United States for more than 50 years. However, thereis a strategic gap in the provision of services with regard to theincreasing population of elderly persons who are economicallydisenfranchised. In addition, the body has been concentrating onmetropolitan areas, and there is a need to appreciate the increasingnumber of elderly persons in the rural areas. It is expected that thecountry will have more than 70 million citizens aged above 65 years.With the increasing burden on health, there is a likelihood of havingmore persons in need of decent and affordable housing.
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Gilbert,A. (2014). Housing the urban poor. Thecompanion to development studies,257-262.
Goering,J. M. (Ed.). (2012). Housingdesegregation and federal policy.UNC Press Books.
Hall,M., & Greenman, E. (2013). Housing and neighborhood quality amongundocumented Mexican and Central American immigrants. Socialscience research,42(6),1712-1725.
Pastalan,L. A. (2014). Optimizinghousing for the elderly: Homes not houses.New York N.Y.: Routledge.
Schwartz,A. F. (2014). Housingpolicy in the United States.NewYork N.Y.: Routledge.
Tsemberis,S., Kent, D., & Respress, C. (2012). Housing stability andrecovery among chronically homeless persons with co-occuringdisorders in Washington, DC. AmericanJournal of Public Health,102(1),13-16.