As HUD approaches its 50th anniversary in September 2015, the Financial Services Committee, led by Chair Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), has paid particular attention to examining the efficacy and success of HUD programs.
A common theme among Republican Committee members was that merely providing a stable home for America’s poorest families – who might otherwise be forced to live on the street – is not enough to measure success. The members wanted hard data showing what happens to HUD residents once they leave subsidized housing programs.
Chair Hensarling later asked Secretary Castro how he would measure success. In response, Secretary Castro said:
“We measure success in several ways. One outcome is the fact that somebody has a roof over their head …”
“HUD provides critical rental and homeless assistance for our country’s most vulnerable populations … [O]ur nation is facing a significant affordable rental housing shortage. Although private capital has an important role to play on this front, it cannot be leveraged without reliable federal funding. To truly address the acute need for affordable rental housing and the epidemic of homelessness, it is absolutely critical that we fully fund and expand the housing and homeless assistance programs that have been so successful at HUD.”
“I want to recognize that Section 8 and other housing programs are successful in every one of our districts, and that a housing program has to chiefly be evaluated based on whether it provides housing, and getting people off the street and in housing is a good thing.”