We deliver the FY 2010-2015 HUD Strategic Plan at a defining moment for our country and agency. The economic crisis, rooted in our housing market, exposed the dramatic gap between wages and housing prices, revealed a jarring mismatch between where people live and where jobs are located, and rolled back nearly two decades of gains in urban cores of our older industrial cities. The crisis made clear that when families choose a home, they do not just choose a home-they also choose transportation to work, schools for their children, and public safety. They choose a community-and the choices available in that community.
Crafted with the input of more than 1,500 HUD employees and partners, this Strategic Plan provides the direction and focus HUD needs to provide quality, affordable homes located in strong, sustainable, inclusive communities. It proposes to accomplish this through five core goals:
- Strengthen the Nation's Housing Market To Bolster the Economy and Protect Consumers
- Meet the Need for Quality Affordable Rental Homes
- Utilize Housing as a Platform for Improving Quality of Life
- Build Inclusive and Sustainable Communities Free From Discrimination
- Transform the Way HUD Does Business
Meeting these five goals requires HUD to embrace the new housing landscape that has emerged in the nearly half century since the agency was created in 1965.
As the federal government pulled back from the Great Society programs, we saw the emergence of New Partners - state and local governments became major drivers of the production and preservation of affordable housing; a third sector of nonprofit community development corporations became some of the most important civic institutions in many neighborhoods; and the private sector started using tools like Section 8 and the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit to become some of the most innovative housing developers. These new partners brought increased innovation and discipline to the housing industry, changing the way affordable housing is financed and how properties are managed. Our challenge now is to follow their lead and to restore the federal leadership that will take these innovations to scale.
A New Geography has emerged as well. Where at the time of HUD's founding, America's cities were in crisis, today they are recovering from an economic crisis. Cities are growing again and are increasingly seen as attractive places to live. In almost every respect, the distinctions between cities and suburbs-and the challenges they both face-are blurring. Challenges we once associated with cities have become suburbanized-not just foreclosures, but issues such as homelessness, joblessness, and traffic congestion. In many ways the most important frame for "place" today is the metropolitan area. Our metropolitan areas have become "laboratories for change"-hubs of consumption and produc?tion, radically altering development patterns in communities across the country.
In the last quarter century, a golden era of innovation was unlocked. This innovation, coupled with advances in technology and management and the use of data and evidence-based policy, has helped create a New Business Model in places that have adapted to these changes, bringing a new accountability to the public sector. We have seen the rapid evolution of the "technology" of combining housing plus services move the needle on chronic homelessness, and evidence-based policy has shown that housing can be a platform for driving other health and education outcomes. We believe a new business model can unlock a much broader scale of transformation-both within HUD and more broadly with the potential to fundamentally change the way federal government works.
The FY 2010-2015 HUD Strategic Plan leverages each of these developments to allow HUD to scale up local innovations, lead the charge, and set the pace for change leading up to HUD's 50th anniversary in 2015. Strengthening the Nation's Housing Market requires HUD to forge new relationships with federal, state, and local agencies across government silos-to assist different regions with vastly different housing needs. Likewise, Meeting the Need for Quality.