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We Love HUD

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Dear Editor:

The October 14, 1994, article "Scattered Successes" included a sidebar with a heading "There are two ways to build new public housing: the easy way and the HUD way." Your readers should know that these are the words of your headline writer, not me.

The reporter's questions of me focused on why it takes so long (on average about 36 months) to develop a program of 25 townhouses. The real story is that major rule changes were made in January to help expedite the development process, not that bureaucratic regulations may have been overbearing at times. The real story is that over 1,600 units have been completed or in the development pipeline due to the diligence and perseverance of many, many dedicated HUD staff persons.

Many of the incidents cited occurred five or six years ago and issues were resolved long ago and were cited merely to put the time duration and complexity of the program in perspective. Based on a major reorganization at HUD, both the property approval process and the construction process have been simplified. Credit is due to key persons at HUD for taking these initiatives and to the many HUD staff who have worked diligently to implement the Scattered Site Program in Chicago. As a result, the sidebar left an incorrect impression. With the cooperation of HUD staff, our architects, and contractors, we are able to deliver new townhomes to the families in need of this housing faster than ever before and it's important your readers be aware of the current reality.

Philip A. Hickman

Director

Scattered Site Program

The Habitat Company

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