HUD has also looked to manufactured housing as another source of affordable housing that could be stimulated by reducing regulatory burdens. Today, 22 million Americans live in manufactured homes. Over the past decade, we have seen major advancements in building technologies, but the last Administration had not kept pace with updating manufactured housing construction standards to allow for this innovation. By proposing necessary and long-overdue updates to the so-called HUD code for manufactured housing, we are aligning federal standards with current practices, expanding the potential for manufactured housing as a financially viable option for families.
In an effort to reduce bureaucratic processes that delay the use of HUD assistance, the Agency will soon propose a complete revision to HUD’s environmental review regulations. The proposed changes will be the first in over 20 years and will positively impact all HUD programs - from multifamily development to affordable housing nationwide. The reform will remove duplicative reviews, simplify compliance, and allow assistance to be utilized more quickly and efficiently. This streamline seeks to ensure that HUD and its stakeholders meet the statutory requirements for environmental review, but do not add any unnecessary burdens that negatively impact the ability of HUD to achieve its mission.
Since taking the helm of HUD, there is a laundry list of 2,800 old and outdated “sub-regulatory guidance documents”— a swamp term for a government opinion that sometimes serves as a de facto rule — that we have completely removed because creating law is not a job for unelected Washington bureaucrats. It is the role of the Congress.
Regulatory cleanup may not always get the media attention it deserves, but it is proving to have a lasting impact on our nation. However, as with any garden, we need to continually and vigilantly prune our regulatory landscape to ensure it isn’t overgrown. Thanks to President Trump’s leadership and steadfast direction, future generations of Americans will benefit from a federal government that allows them to grow and prosper, too.
Dr. Ben Carson is secretary, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.