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How HUD Became More Effective

The Department of Housing and Urban Development is now rated "results demonstrated." GAO's removal of two of HUD's critical housing programs from its High Risk list marks the first time since 1994 that no HUD programs have been on GAO's list.

The Department has made significant strides to reform the Federal Housing Administration's single-family mortgage insurance programs, improving its lending, appraisal and property disposition controls, and enhancements to the timeliness, sophistication and predictive accuracy of its actuarial modeling. In addition, to reduce improper rental assistance payments, HUD's Office of Public and Indian Housing and Office of Housing improved program guidance, training and automated systems support. HUD developed and implemented the Enterprise Income Verification System (EIV) - a web-based, state of the art system - to share income data in other federal databases with public housing authorities to improve their income verification process. These collective actions led to a 60 percent decline in gross improper payments between 2001 and 2005. The money that had been paid in error is now being used to house more low-income families. All of these accomplishments led HUD to green status on financial management, a clean audit opinion with no material weaknesses, and successful attainment of the goals of HUD's Management and Performance Initiative.

Department leadership established clear goals, a detailed, reasonably aggressive action plan, and clear accountability, and they made it very clear that business process improvement was a priority. With these four keys in place HUD employees successfully took their agency to a heretofore unthinkable level of proficiency, for the benefit of their customers, the taxpayers and HUD employees.

Clay Johnson, Deputy Director for Management at OMB