Thursday, April 25, 2013

Sequester hits HUD. 20% of 80 field offices nationally closing, eliminating 10% of its 9000 people workforce.

HUD closing Syracuse field office to save money
SYRACUSE — Federal authorities say they’re closing a housing office in central New York to save money.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development says closing the office in Syracuse will save from $110 million to $150 million in lease and operating costs over 10 years. The closing is expected to be completed by early next year.
HUD is shutting down 16 of its 80 field offices nationally, affecting about 120 employees. The larger offices in Buffalo and Albany and the regional office in New York City will remain open.
HUD to close its Orlando and Tampa offices
April 24, 2013|By Mark Matthews and Mary Shanklin, Orlando Sentinel

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development said Wednesday it will close its Orlando and Tampa field offices as part of a restructuring that will eliminate 16 of its 80 local offices nationwide.
The Orlando closing will effect eight employees, who worked with local housing authorities and counselors on programs that included Section 8 rental vouchers, senior-housing assistance and foreclosure guidance. The office on Maguire Boulevard, near downtown Orlando, also handled a steady stream of walk-in traffic, phone calls and emails from residents, homeless persons, real estate agents and multifamily-home developers.
U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown, a Jacksonville Democrat whose district extends into Orlando, said she was infuriated by the move and had never been more disappointed in President Barack Obama or his administration.
In a letter she wrote to HUD officials, she requested the agency reconsider the closing because the action would "be devastating" to the thousands of Floridians who are still struggling with foreclosure actions or seeking affordable housing.
"Florida is a special case and while this housing crisis continues, these offices and the personnel and assets they bring to the crisis are invaluable," she wrote. 
The Jacksonville and Miami HUD offices will remain open and take on responsibilities of the Orlando and Tampa offices.
Under the direction of Buz Ausely, the Orlando HUD field office was responsible for federal housing services in nine counties: Brevard, Indian River, Lake, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, St. Lucie, Seminole and Volusia.
Federal officials estimated the overall restructuring will save HUD more than $110 million over 10 years. HUD could not estimate the budget for the Orlando office, which is expected to close in coming months.

·         From: Affordable Housing Finance 2013
·         Posted on: April 24, 2013

HUD to Shut, Consolidate Field Offices


The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced plans to consolidate multifamily hubs and close 16 smaller offices as part of a restructuring effort.
The changes, which affect approximately 900 of HUD's 9,000 employees, are within the agency's Office of Multifamily Housing Programs and the Office of Field Policy and Management.
"The current organizational model for HUD is not sustainable from a financial and a service delivery point of view," said Deputy Secretary Maurice Jones in a statement. "We are reviewing every aspect of our operation to determine if we have the right people in the right places, and we're determining where we can be even more efficient to get the most value out of our limited resources. We're in a different budget environment, and we're at a point where we must make some extremely tough choices. That being said, we certainly understand that this type of change can be challenging for the agency's employees, and we are committed to moving forward on the plan in a way that is sensitive to the needs and concerns of HUD's staff."
Affected employees will be offered an opportunity to continue working at the agency, but it may be in a new location or role, according to HUD.
The multifamily division changes are expected to begin this fall and be fully implemented by 2016. The plan is expected to result in about $40 million to $45 million in annual savings when completed.
A key component of the multifamily plan will be consolidating its field employees, who currently work in 50 offices, into 10 offices that will report to five multifamily hubs in Atlanta, Chicago, Fort Worth, New York, and San Francisco, with satellite offices in Boston, Denver, Detroit, Jacksonville, Fla., and Kansas City, Mo.
"Multifamily is one of HUD's core programs, and this is its first major restructuring since 1998," said Marie Head, deputy assistant secretary for multifamily housing programs. "We have to change in order to be nimble and keep pace with the marketplace by leveraging technology, reducing our footprint as appropriate, and enhancing customer service in ways that will help ensure that we perform as a 21st century institution."
HUD's Office of Field Policy and Management is closing 16 of its 80 field offices this year in a move that will save between $110 million and $150 million over a 10-year period. The closures, which are expected to be completed in early fiscal 2014, will affect about 120 employees.
The offices that are closing are in Camden, N.J.; Cincinnati; Dallas; Flint, Mich.; Fresno, Calif.; Grand Rapids, Mich.; Lubbock, Texas; Orlando, Fla.; Sacramento, Calif.; San Diego; Shreveport, La.; Spokane, Wash.; Springfield, Ill.; Syracuse, N.Y.; Tampa, Fla.; and Tucson, Ariz. HUD will retain at least one office in each state. Following the closures, several affected states will still retain more than one office, including California, Texas, and New York with three offices each, and Florida and Ohio with two each.

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