What is HUD?

HUD is the acronym used to denote any reference to the Department of Housing and Urban Development. It has a long history, an ambitions mission, and an extensive coverage of oversight offices and services.

HUD’s Mission is to be the Federal Agency responsible for national policy programs “that address America’s housing needs, that improve and develop the Nation’s communities, and enforce Fair Housing Laws. HUD’s business is helping create a decent home and suitable living environment for all Americans, and it has given America’s communities a strong national voice at the Cabinet Level. HUD plays a major role in supporting homeownership by underwriting homeownership for lower- and moderate-income families through its mortgage insurance program.” (

President Lyndon B. Johnson created HUD on November 9, 1965 as part of his War on Poverty when he signed the Department Of Housing and Urban Development Act. It became effective the following year on January 13, 1966, and established HUD as a Cabinet Department. The Department of Housing and Urban Development Act too so much under its umbrella that even though President Johnson didn’t sign his bill until 1965, or that it didn‘t take effect until the next year, HUD’s history stretches back to 1934 when the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) first began addressing loan requirements for homeownership and building standards.

HUD’s primary role is to help provide shelter to America’s most vulnerable populations:

  • The working poor
  • Minorities
  • Native Americans
  • People with disabilities
  • People with Aids
  • The Elderly
  • The Homeless

HUD’s Major Programs include:

  • Mortgage and Loan insurance through the FHA
  • Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) which help communities with economic development, job opportunities, and housing rehabilitation
  • HOME Investment Partnership Action block grants to develop and support affordable housing for low-income residents
  • Rental Assistance through Section 8 certificates and vouchers for low-income individuals and families
  • Homeless assistance through secular and faith based community groups
  • Public or subsidized housing
  • Fair Housing education and enforcement

HUD extends its work through various offices and agencies:

  • Federal Housing Administration
  • Federal Housing Finance Agency
  • Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships
  • Department of Enforcement Center
  • Office of:
    • Community Planning and Development
    • Congressional and Intergovernmental Relations
    • Equal Employment Opportunity
    • Field and Policy Management
    • General Counsel
    • Healthy homes and Lead Hazard Control
    • Hearings and Appeals
    • Labor Relations
    • Policy of Development and Research
    • Public Affairs
    • Public and Indian Housing
    • Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization
    • Sustainable Housing and Communities.