By: Margaret Olsen
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has announced that it will close 16 field offices in a plan to cut costs and create efficiencies in the organization.
Four of the 16 offices serve eight U.S. cities that have the highest rates of foreclosures. The office closures were based on the business needs of the Department, said a HUD spokesperson.
The agency has 80 such field offices across the country, and claims that number is too high. Because a majority of HUD’s cases are handled over the phone, or through the agency’s website, and only about 10% of HUD’s business dealings actually occur in the agency’s offices, the official contended that it didn’t make fiscal sense for the agency to keep so many offices open.
These HUD office closures coincide with the forced federal budget cuts called “sequester,” which is also cutting hundreds of millions of dollars from the agency’s budget .
In addition, this reorganization will also force 900 HUD employees, about 10% of their workforce, to relocate.