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Penn IUR: “Retooling HUD for a Catalytic Federal Government: A Report to Secretary Shaun Donovan”
April 28, 2009, Volume 55, No. 31

The Penn Institute for Urban Research at the University of Pennsylvania has released its report, Retooling HUD for a Catalytic Federal Government: A Report to Secretary Shaun Donovan.

This report identifies the challenges as well as policy, programmatic and system responses that will enable the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to successfully partner with state and local governments and with the private sector to improve the economy of the nation’s metropolitan areas.

With support from the Rockefeller Foundation, Penn IUR assembled a team led by Paul Brophy, visiting professor of city planning at Penn and a non-resident senior fellow at The Brookings Institution, and Rachel Godsil, professor of law at Seton Hall University.

Professors Brophy and Godsil directed more than 100 experts from across the nation—professionals in housing and urban and metropolitan development—to produce the report with the mandate to re-position the agency to meet today’s needs.

Organized into several task forces, the effort involved several Penn faculty, including Eugenie Birch, professor of urban research in the School of Design; Ira Harkavy, founding director of the Netter Center for Community Partnerships at Penn; Wendell Pritchett, professor of law and soon to be chancellor of Rutgers University—Camden; and Susan Wachter, professor of finance in Penn’s Wharton School and former HUD assistant secretary of policy development and research.

The issues covered by the task forces are compiled in 10 chapters, each listing several short- and long-term recommendations on foreclosure, multi-family housing, the homeless, strengthening neighborhoods, economic development, anchor institutions and green housing.

Task force chairs Brophy, Godsil, Birch and Wachter presented the report’s recommendations to HUD Secretary Donovan and his staff in mid-March, and Penn IUR is planning a congressional briefing on Capitol Hill and several public lectures to present the findings. The first public briefing was during the American Planning Association’s annual conference on April 26 in Minneapolis.

Both Mr. Brophy and Ms. Godsil were involved in President Obama’s campaign and served as advisors to the HUD transition team. Mr. Brophy was a member of the executive board, and Ms. Godsil was the convener of the Urban and Metropolitan Policy Committee.

Additional information and a free copy of the report are available at www.upenn.edu/penniur. Hard copies can be purchased for $15 each.


Almanac - April 28, 2009, Volume 55, No. 31