Secretary Castro Testifies Before House Financial Services Committee

HUD Secretary Julián Castro recently testified before the House Committee on Financial Services during a hearing titled, “The Future of Housing in America: Oversight of the Department of Housing and Urban Development.” This was the second oversight hearing the Committee has held in the session. Increased scrutiny of HUD programs continues to be expected as the Department marks its 50th anniversary this September.

In his remarks, Chair Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) emphasized examining the efficacy and success of HUD programs. Hensarling stated, “HUD was established…to become the… main weapon [in] combating poverty, rebuilding our cities, and making housing more affordable for all. Yet, by nearly every official measure, poverty and its consequences are as bad as they were 50 years ago. For whatever good HUD does, it clearly has not won the war on poverty. Only economic growth and equal opportunity can do that. In other words, the greatest housing program in America remains a good career path and a growing economy, not a HUD program. If we truly care about the least of these among us, we can no longer measure success by the number of dollars appropriated to HUD. Instead, success must be measured in the number of our fellow citizens who rise from lives of poverty and dependency to lives of hope, self-sufficiency, and pride.”

Secretary Castro highlighted the importance of increased investment. Secretary Castro stated, “We measure success in several ways. One outcome is the fact that somebody has a roof over their head. That makes a tremendous difference in their lives. However, I believe that we need to continue to measure when we invest in things like Jobs Plus, Family Self-Sufficiency, the ROSS program, the extent to which those individuals that go through those programs go on and get good job training and get a job, the extent to which they get a good education and that they are able to move.”