Chairman Enzi Presses Federal IG Offices on Housing Duplication and Overlap

WASHINGTON D.C. – Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY), Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, has asked the inspectors general of the Departments of Housing and Urban Development, Agriculture, Veterans Affairs, and Treasury to identify duplication in federal housing assistance programs. Enzi’s letter requests an evaluation of the current investments made in housing programs, as well as recommended areas in which the agencies can work together more efficiently to be better stewards of taxpayer funds.

In his letter to the inspectors general, Enzi wrote, “Federal involvement in housing assistance has expanded into a complicated maze of programs and financing tools through which billions of dollars are spent each year.”

In 2012, the Government Accountability Office issued a report stating that “twenty different entities administered 160 programs, tax expenditures, and other tools that supported homeownership and rental housing in fiscal year 2010, reflecting the fragmentation in federal housing delivery.” The four agencies with the largest footprint are the Housing and Urban Development, Agriculture, Veterans Affairs, and Treasury Departments.  In another 2012 report, the Government Accountability Office stated that “examining the benefits and costs of housing programs and tax expenditures that address the same or similar populations or areas, and potentially consolidating them, could help mitigate overlap, duplication and fragmentation and decrease costs.” 

Enzi is seeking a review of the federal government’s housing assistance programs and expenditures that include recommendations of areas for consolidation.  He said the evaluation should include, as appropriate, the recommendations of other inspectors general whose departments or agencies provide housing assistance. 

“As a former small business owner and an accountant, I know that a more consolidated and streamlined government best serves both those who need these services and those who help pay for them,” wrote Enzi.  “Reforms done right can lead to less money going to overhead costs and more to providing actual assistance to those Americans most in need.”

Read the full letter here.

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