U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

What is the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development?

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is a federal department that formulates and enforces housing policy and oversees the Federal Housing Administration.

Deeper definition

In 1965, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) was created as a U.S. government agency to promote home ownership and urban community development.

To accomplish these goals, HUD participates in and sponsors a variety of activities and programs, including the following:

  • Improving opportunities for affordable home ownership.
  • Increasing safe and affordable rental options.
  • Reducing the cycle of chronic homelessness.
  • Combating housing discrimination by promoting equal opportunity housing in the rental and purchase markets.
  • Supporting vulnerable and minority populations.

One of the essential components of HUD’s oversight is the Fair Housing Act, which is a law that assists disadvantaged and low-income Americans with finding safe and affordable housing. The Fair Housing Act combats discrimination based on:

  • Sex.
  • Race.
  • National origin.
  • Religion.
  • Familial status.
  • Disability.

In addition to enforcing the Fair Housing Act, HUD is responsible for providing affordable loan and rental options for families that may not qualify for traditional financing or who are looking for a way to reasonably afford adequate housing for their children.

HUD offers a variety of grant programs and vouchers to qualifying individuals and families. Some of these include:

  • Community Development Block Grant – This federal grant funds the development of neighborhoods for low- to mid-income families so that they can live near urban centers for employment, shopping and public transportation.
  • Housing Choice Vouchers (also known as Section 8) — These vouchers help pay for housing for low-income families so they can choose where they want to live.

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development example

If your application to rent an apartment in your city is denied and you feel that it may have something to do with your race or religious affiliation, HUD can help to investigate the denial. HUD works to accomplish fair housing opportunities for everyone and works hard to eradicate discrimination.

Curious about FHA loans? Learn more about FHA loans and if you may qualify for one.

Other Real Estate Terms

Net effective rent

Net effective rent is the average amount of rent paid per month. Bankrate explains.

Gross rent

Gross rent is the actual amount you pay for rent each month. Bankrate explains.

Fixture

Fixture is a common real estate term it pays to understand. Bankrate explains it.

Installment contract

Installment contract is a common term that every consumer should know. Bankrate explains it.

More From Bankrate