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House Appropriations Committee Holds Oversight Hearing on HUD

The House Committee on Appropriations held a hearing on the oversight of HUD and the Department of Transportation on March 16. During the hearing, lawmakers examined the top persistent management challenges at HUD and noted HUD’s insufficient staffing and its need for improved leadership to address the agency’s challenges.

In his opening remarks, Ranking Member David Price (D-NC) recognized HUD’s perennial struggle to modernize its information-technology infrastructure and human capital management and its failure to establish strong internal controls. HUD Inspector General David Montoya noted the interconnectedness of HUD’s key management and performance challenges. Mr. Montoya said that HUD’s most significant challenge is its inability to establish and implement effective financial management controls. He testified that addressing HUD’s challenges is an ambitious task given the agency’s limited staff, diverse programs, thousands of people implementing the programs, and the millions of beneficiaries of HUD programs.

Representative David Young (R-IA) asked Mr. Montoya how Congress can help HUD address its management issues. Mr. Montoya responded that HUD’s issues are the result of a failure in leadership that has not prioritized staff, systems, and processes. He said that internal controls are difficult to implement because HUD’s systems operate in silos but that adequate policies and procedures are not in place.

Representative Tom Graves (R-GA) expressed a concern about previous audit findings that above-income-threshold families were inappropriately benefiting from HUD housing assistance. Mr. Montoya replied that the “Housing Opportunities through Modernization Act of 2016” addressed that issue, requiring housing authorities to evict families two years after they have exceeded income thresholds.

More information about the hearing is available at: http://bit.ly/2nJBuDG