The US Department of Housing and Urban Development lists its mission as "A decent, safe, and sanitary home and suitable living environment for every American." It was created as a cabinet-level agency of the United States Government in 1965, during the administration of Lyndon Johnson, consolidating several older federal agencies associated with housing and related assistance for low- and moderate-income families
HUD lists its primary duties as:
- Creating opportunities for homeownership
- Providing housing assistance for low-income persons
- Working to create, rehabilitate and maintain the nation's affordable housing
- Enforcing the nation's fair housing laws
- Helping the homeless
- Spurring economic growth in distressed neighborhoods
- Helping local communities meet their development needs
Since its inception, HUD and its affiliated agencies have insured over 30 million home mortgages. Its programs lower interest rates and create incentives for home ownership, aside from adding billions of dollars to the supply of available mortgage funds.
It also supports locally-managed public housing and other programs that provide living space to over 4 million low-income families. Struggling communities can get block grants to renovate existing housing or construct or improve public works such as sewage systems, water utilities, and public streets.
Past Secretaries of HUD
- 1966-1969: Robert C. Weaver
- 1969: Robert C. Wood
- 1969-1973: George C. Romney
- 1973-1975: James T. Lynn
- 1975-1977: Carla A. Hills
- 1977-1979: Patricia R. Harris
- 1979-1981: Moon Landrieu
- 1981-1989: Samuel R. Pierce Jr.
- 1989-1993: Jack F. Kemp
- 1993-1997: Henry G. Cisneros
- 1997-2001: Andrew M. Cuomo
- 2001-present: Mel Martinez