I'm pleased to present to you a summary of HUD's major mortgage, grant, assistance and regulatory programs. This manual briefly explains and updates the status of every program HUD operates, encompassing a host of issues within housing and community development. While our programs cover a broad range of subject areas, all of them are in service of a fundamental mission: to provide strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality, affordable homes for all Americans.
That mission has never been more important than it is now, as under President Obama's leadership we emerge from an economic crisis linked to the collapse of our nation's housing market. And whether it is strengthening that market to bolster the economy and create jobs, meeting the need for quality affordable rental homes, utilizing housing as a platform for improving quality of life, building inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination, or transforming the way HUD does business, HUD's work is key to our recovery.
The scope of those goals and the diversity of our programs reflect a core philosophy at HUD under the Obama Administration: that when you choose a home, you don't just choose a physical structure. You also choose transportation to work, schools for your children, and public safety. You choose a community - and the choices available in that community, whether urban, suburban, or rural. Ensuring every American family has those choices is what we have designed our programs to do.
Of course, while this document provides clear, concise explanations of HUD programs, we can never lose sight of the families our programs serve. Behind the formulas and the grant eligibility criteria of our programs are the stories of people's lives, whether they are among the 1.6 million responsible first-time homebuyers the FHA has supported since President Obama took office; the 1.8 million people with disabilities we serve through Housing Choice Vouchers, the Section 811, Public Housing programs, and other initiatives; or the more than 900,000 seniors who live with the care they need and dignity they deserve thanks to our Section 202, Project-based Section 8, and Public Housing programs.
As big a difference as these programs make in the lives of ordinary Americans, this Administration is committed to making government more efficient, more effective and more accountable. Particularly in today's tight fiscal environment, the need for responsible budgeting has never been higher - and making smart, responsible choices depends on quality information. That's why I'm also committed to collecting the data we need to understand what works, what doesn't, and what we need to do better - so that HUD can better serve the American people, better protect the American taxpayer and better partner with communities to meet the challenges of the decades ahead.
It's that commitment to laying the foundation for the 21st century economy that makes me proud to present this comprehensive overview of HUD's work.
Secretary Shaun DonovanTable of Contents