The House of Representatives is considering is FY 2015 Transportation HUD Appropriations Bill (HR 4745). NAHMA will provide a comprehensive update on this legislation after the bill passes. In the meantime, we would like to highlight an important amendment which the House adopted yesterday.
Representative Maxine Waters (D-CA), the Ranking Member of the House Financial Services Committee, successfully offered an amendment which codifies the agreement between the Appropriations Committees and HUD to hold-off on the consolidation of Multifamily Asset Management field offices. The Multifamily Transformation Initiative had called for consolidation of some 50 multifamily field offices into 12. The amendment reads:
None of the funds made available by this Act may be used to require the relocation, or to carry out any required relocation, of any asset management positions of the Office of Multifamily Housing of the Department of Housing and Urban Development in existence as of the date of the enactment of this Act.
In early April, HUD announced that it would move forward with all aspects of its Multifamily Transformation Initiative except for consolidation of its asset management field staff. According to the announcement from Deputy Assistant Secretary Ben Metcalf:
For now, Asset Management employees will remain in their current locations. Congress directed that Asset Management employees should not consolidate but instead, should continue to serve in all existing Multifamily Housing offices. This modification does not alter HUDs plan for reorganizing to a five-region structure, consolidating Production and Operations employees. And it does not alter the continued development of workload sharing, and the implementation of the Underwriter Model in Production the Account Executive Model in Asset Management.
On June 5, the Senate Appropriations Committee passed its version of the FY 15 Transportation-HUD Appropriations bill (S. 2438). The Committees report to accompany the bill included this language regarding salaries for the Office of Housing:
At the end of April 2013, HUD proposed to reorganize the Office of Multifamily Housing. The plan is designed to streamline operations, improve program delivery, and save taxpayer funding. After examination of the proposal, the Committee approved a modified plan that reorganizes offices at headquarters and consolidates the production functions into 12 field offices. However, the plan maintains asset management functions and associated staff in existing field offices. This adjustment was made to ensure that HUD would maintain a presence in communities near Federal assets. The Committee recognizes that HUD still intends to continue to pursue a broader consolidation. However, the Committee directs HUD not to make any changes to the approved plan in fiscal year 2015. Instead, HUD should monitor the implementation of the staff changes in the field, as well as the process changes occurring in all offices. Further, HUD is directed to report to the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations within 180 days of enactment of this act on how the reorganization is proceeding, any issues identified with the initial waves of the transition, how such changes are affecting program oversight and delivery, and any adjustments that HUD plans to make based on lessons learned.
NAHMA supports Rep. Waters amendment, and we thank her for her efforts related to this important issue. Her amendment is now part of the House T-HUD bill, which is expected to pass the House. We look forward to working with Ranking Member Waters as she continues her oversight of HUDs Multifamily Transformation Initiative.