Through a lengthy blog post, HUD made it clear it was not going to take the Washington Post’s evisceration of it’s HOME program lying down. Now, a group of affordable housing organizations has joined the effort to save HOME’s name from irreparable tarnish, and to blunt the calls for a government-led investigation into the alleged neglect. In a joint letter to Representative Tom Latham (R-IA) and Representative John Olver (D – MA), the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, the organizations claim the Post’s series distorts the picture:
We are writing to you in support of the HOME Investment Partnerships program. We want to be sure Congress understands that the recent Washington Post article, “A Trail of Stalled or Abandoned HUD Projects,” seriously distorts HOME’s record by focusing on a very small percentage of HOME developments. The reality is that HOME has successfully and cost-effectively produced more than 1 million affordable homes for ownership and rental, as well as made additional homes affordable for tens of thousands of families with rental assistance.
For good measure, Barbara Thompson, the executive director of the National Council of State Housing Agencies, also wrote a letter to the editor of the Post, imploring the post to set the record straight:
Not only does your article ignore HOME’s long‐heralded record, it also paints a distorted picture of HOME program administration. In sharp contrast to your reporting, the HUD‐state HOME partnership has been a highly effective one, not one plagued by missteps and misdeeds…We implore the Post to correct the record and publish the whole story.
The Post’s story was scathing. The industry’s response has been equally spirited. It will be interesting to watch how this story plays out among the group writing the checks…congress.
Image courtesy of flickr user matturick