What Are the Duties of the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

Duties of the US Department of Housing and Urban Development

The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) was established in 1965 under the leadership of President Lyndon B. Johnson.

The agency was established to execute the housing and development programs of the US government by ensuring equal access to everyone’s housing opportunities, notwithstanding income level or family background.

Not only does the federal agency address housing for low-income families and minorities, but it also combats land developer fraud and ensures that home buyers are protected from it and other inadequate mortgage loan practices.

  • HUD operates through different offices to carry out its duties and responsibilities to US citizens.
  • The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is a federal agency that is responsible for housing programs and opportunities around the nation.
  • HUD is a cabinet-level government agency that is led by the HUD secretary who is a member of the president’s cabinet and confirmed by the Senate.
  • Some of the notable housing programs which this agency carries out include federal housing programs, rental assistance programs for low-income families, programs to tackle housing discrimination, reduce homelessness, and support homeownership, amongst others.
  • HUD also allows and supports private housing owners to partake in producing affordable housing for low-income families through partnerships.

Duties of the Department of Housing and Urban Development

The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is generally involved in the housing needs and programs of families and individuals in the US. The HUD works to ensure the quality of affordable rental housing, strengthen the housing market, and enforce fair housing laws, among other things, through the implementation of various housing initiatives. Some of the duties of the HUD include:

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA)

The Federal Housing Administration program is notable for its mortgage insurance program, which provides home loans for homebuyers who do not qualify for other mortgage loans due to low credit scores or bankruptcy. This program is usually overseen by HUD for guidelines and protocol.

Fair Housing Act

HUD also oversees this program as it prohibits housing discrimination due to color, sex, race, religion, or national origin. Anyone found guilty is usually prosecuted.

The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG)

This program provides and allocates grants to cities and towns for the revitalization of their communities and economic development. The grants provided must be used to benefit primarily low-income families and for other home displacements which may be caused by natural disasters.

The Housing Choice Voucher Program

The housing choice voucher, otherwise known as Section 8, is another program sponsored by HUD. This program supports low-income families, people with disabilities and the elderly to seek affordable rental housing. HUD ensures that eligible families are provided subsidized housing, whether through government or private housing programs.

The Government National Mortgage Association (GNMA)

The Government National Mortgage Association (GNMA) is another HUD-managed government program that oversees mortgages issued by private lenders and increases the availability of credit for the housing market through mortgage market finds.

Public and Indian housing

This housing program provides funds through grants for individuals and families who are native Americans to acquire affordable housing and become economically independent. The Public and Indian Housing Scheme, via HUD, works with various housing authorities to improve the service and delivery of housing conditions.

Community planning and development

This scheme is responsible for the distribution of grants to low-income communities to finance their growth and development. The office of community planning and development also supports the housing program of HUD through its numerous grant programs.

Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Control

This office is responsible for helping to eradicate health problems caused by lead paint in low-income housing. Through scientific research, the agency tries to solve this problem and also assist local communities to address and find a lasting solution to the exposure to lead paint.

Selected Programs and Initiatives offered by the Department of Housing and Urban Development

Here are some of the programs sponsored by HUD for families and individuals in search of affordable housing.

  • Choice Neighborhoods: this allocates grants to assist schools, residents, business owners, nonprofits, and others with their housing needs and also to transform low-quality neighborhoods into sustainable neighborhoods with affordable housing.
  • HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing Program: This program merges the housing choice voucher for veterans and their families with case management and clinical services.
  • Neighborhood Networks: This type of funding provides grants to public housing authorities to establish community technology centers that offer computer and internet training for residents.
  • Resident Opportunities and Self Sufficiency program: funds are provided to the Public Housing Authority who in turn merges residents with empowerment and supportive activities to allow them to become self-sufficient.


The US Department of Housing and Urban Development was set up to curb housing issues and provide affordable housing for low-income families and other people in need, without discriminating by race, sex, nationality, or religion. The agency believes everyone is entitled to a fair housing opportunity.

HUD is not only responsible for providing affordable housing solutions to low-income families, the elderly, and the disabled, but also supports families in acquiring rental options and affordable loans for those who do not qualify for the available funding options and are in search of a way to afford housing.


  1. I have been without a place since Hurricane Ida. I am now living with family and I really need my own place. I'm disabled an have too many things that aquire alot of getting around. I need somewhere that I can get to my doctors appts, medications and other apps needed. Please help

    1. Hi Terry,

      The Section 811 is a government housing program which is specifically made available for the disabled with low-income. To apply for the Section 811, you have to get in touch with your local housing by clicking this link http://www.hud.gov. Also, you can submit your application online without having to go to a physical office if that is convenient for you.

  2. My name is Wesley James, and am looking to get a place for my Dad, who is a Veteran from the Vietnam conflict, he has been homeless for three years plus now, also my brother who is fully disabled, is also homeless, I am working full time, and would like to get a 3 bedroom house two bath w/ a two car garage. This will get them off the streets, and another Veteran will not be homeless, thank you for your time and consideration on this matter. We live in Colorado Springs, CO. 80909, but if I have to travel about 15-20 miles to work in order to get a house, then I’m ok with that, my phone #, is 719-***-****, I’m not having any luck getting a place, any information will help

    1. You can apply for a Section 811 voucher which is a federal housing program for low-income families, veterans and persons living with disability. The Section 811 voucher is administered under the same rules as the Section 8 voucher of the HUD. The Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCV) allows accepted applicants the opportunity to choose their own home. You can visit the HUD website to find out more about the program and how to submit your application http://www.hud.gov

  3. I am looking to find a place to live I'm in a wheelchair and disabled I can walk very little I only make $529 a month that enough to really pay for it so I need any help I can get to get a place right now I'm staying with my niece but I need to find another place this is only temporary please can you help me

    1. The section 8 housing assistance program administered by the HUD provides low-income housing for families, disabled and the elderly. To apply as a disbaled for the section 8 housing voucher, you can submit an application online on the HUD website or visit the closest PHA office to you to start the application process. You can get a list of PHA offices in your locality by clicking on this link: http://www.hud.gov

    1. HUD program provides safe and quality housing for low-income families, the elderly, and those with a disability. You can start your application by getting in contact with your local PHA office in your area to check for available housing options fit for your needs. To get a list of PHA offices close to you, visit here.

  4. Unable too get to my pha office for medical reason can i got an application online for emergency housing for disable senior

    1. : To apply for the Section 8 housing program for the disabled or senior citizen, you can fill an application online or via mail if you can’t access a physical PHA office due to your medical situation.

  5. I live in San Francisco California and I was hit by a car on a scooter in May, it didn't heal properly so the Orthopedics department at SFGH recommended hip replacement and remove the rod a screws, but they won't do surgery until I have a stable living situation, can you help?

  6. Yes I have been homeless for more years than I would care to count so just asking for help to get off the street of Oakland ca so I can be able to have my two kids come over

    1. To apply for the Section 8 housing program, you need to fill an application which can be done online or via mail. There are always PHA office in every area which you can get a list by visiting. Also check out the our previous article on section 8 for more information. Section 8 Vouchers FAQs

  7. Good afternoon and thanks for sending me information very much needed at this point and hard times, but if possible can anyone help me out with an application for housing or even a shelter, I just got awarded social security disability and don't know where to go from here.

  8. I was approved for choice voucher when covid-19 hit , hud didnt send me anything in the mail for a year. I kept calling weekly to make sure i didnt miss anything, then when i did get the papers in the mail, i had 3 months to find a place kinda hard to find anything when rent jacked up 3timea what it usually was an when the voucher was only for 800.00 dollars i couldnt find a place i did get a extension for 60 days but everything was rented or was way to high for me to afford in the area i was approved for. Then after the extra days they took the vouchers back an here iam. Again havin to wait for something to ooen to apply again then wait another 7 years to get voucher. To me that is so wrong when someone is close to being on the streets. Im saddened that being on disability for 19 yrs an cant find a place i can afford kinda hard when u only make 825.00 a month an no help nowhere

    1. Due to the increase in the number of applicants on the waiting list each year for the section 8 voucher, hence the limited time allocated for successful applicants to find a housing and start enjoying the section 8 housing assistance. If you are in need of emergency housing, you can apply for the Continuum of Care (CoC) Program or Rapid Rehousing program and it offers a faster response in getting you a home within 30-60 days than the Section 8. Contact your local housing authority for more details on how to apply.

  9. My name is Fae I have already applied for section 8 and the voucher I already live in low income housing I'm trying to move to another apartment out of here I've been here 22 years they don't want to fix anything it's time for me to go my section 8 application I've already been through that it's telling me to the email to telling me to confirm my waitlist and I can't get to it and the pHa application I know I just got an email saying I need to confirm that application I can't get to it I keep leaving the wrong message to the wrong people about I got my email changed and my telephone number changed

    1. Hello Fae,

      kindly visit the nearest PHA office in your area to lay a formal complaint and also to tell them about the change of your telephone number and email address. It is very important to notify the PHA about these changes so you don’t miss out on your application.

  10. can you please mail out the forms i need to get on the list i know it takes a long time to get housing

    Thank you for any help with this matter
    Merry Christmas.

  11. Hi I am in a immediate need of help! I have a little money but not enough to cover deposit rent and electric. I’m a single mom of 2 needing help immediately

    1. To apply for housing for single mums, visit your local Public Housing Agency (PHA). For any questions, email or call the Public and Indian Housing Information Resource Center toll-free at (800) 955-2232.

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