The department was established on September 9, 1965, when Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Department of Housing and Urban Development Act into law. It stipulated that the department was to be created no later than November 8, sixty days following the date of enactment. The actual implementation was postponed until January 13, 1966, following the completion of a special study group report on the federal role in solving urban problems.

HUD is administered by the United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Its headquarters is located in the Robert C. Weaver Federal Building. Some important milestones for HUD’s development include:

  • June 27, 1934 – The National Housing Act creates the Federal Housing Administration, which helps provide mortgage insurance on loans made by FHA-approved lenders.
  • September 1, 1937 – Housing Act of 1937 creates the United States Housing Authority, which helps enact slum-clearance projects and construction of low-rent housing.
  • February 3, 1938 – The National Housing Act Amendments of 1938 is signed into law. The law creates the Federal National Mortgage Association (FNMA), which provides a secondary market to the Federal Housing Administration.
  • February 24, 1942 – Executive Order 9070, Establishing the National Housing Agency. The Federal Housing Administration, the Federal Home Loan Bank Board, The Home Owners’ Loan Corporation, The United States Housing Authority, defense housing under the Federal Works Agency, the War Department, the Navy Department, the Farm Security Administration, the Defense Homes Corporation, the Federal Loan Administration, and the Division of Defense Housing Coordination were consolidated. The National Housing Agency would be made up of three units, each with its own commissioner. The units were the Federal Housing Administration, the Federal Home Loan Bank Administration, and the United States Housing Authority.
  • July 27, 1947 – The Housing and Home Finance Agency is established through Reorganization Plan Number 3.
  • July 15, 1949 – The Housing Act of 1949 is enacted to help eradicate slums and promote community development and redevelopment programs.
  • August 2, 1954 – The Housing Act of 1954 establishes comprehensive planning assistance.
  • September 23, 1959 – The Housing Act of 1959 allows funds for elderly housing.
  • September 2, 1964 – The Housing Act of 1964 allows rehabilitation loans for homeowners.
  • August 10, 1965 – The Housing and Urban Development Act of 1965 instituted several major expansions in federal housing programs.
  • September 1965 – HUD is created as a cabinet-level agency by the Department of Housing and Urban Development Act.
  • April 1968 – The Fair Housing Act is passed to ban discrimination in housing.
  • During 1968 – The Housing and Urban Development Act of 1968 establishes the Government National Mortgage Association (Ginnie Mae).
  • August 1969 – The Brooke Amendment establishes that low income families only pay no more than 25 percent of their income for rent.
  • August 1974 – Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 allows community development block grants and help for urban homesteading.
  • October 1977 – The Housing and Community Act of 1977 sets up Urban Development Grants and continues elderly and handicapped assistance.
  • July 1987 – The Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act gives help to communities to deal with homelessness. It includes the creation of the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness of which HUD is a member.
  • February 1988 – The Housing and Community Development Act provides for the sale of public housing to resident management corporations.
  • October 1992 – The HOPE VI program starts to revitalize public housing and how it works.
  • October 1992 – The Housing and Community Development Act of 1992 codifies within its language the Federal Housing Enterprises Financial Safety and Soundness Act of 1992 that creates the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight, and mandates HUD to set goals for lower income and underserved housing areas for the GSEs Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
  • 1992 – Federal Housing Enterprises’ Financial Safety and Soundness Act of 1992 creates HUD Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight to provide public oversight of FNMA and Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac).
  • 1993 – Henry G. Cisneros is named Secretary of HUD by President William J. Clinton, January 22. Empowerment Zone and Enterprise Community program becomes law as part of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993.
  • 1995 – “Blueprint for Reinvention of HUD” proposes sweeping changes in public housing reform and FHA, consolidation of other programs into three block grants.
  • 1996 – Homeownership totals 66.3 million American households, the largest number ever.
  • 1997 – Andrew M. Cuomo is named by President Clinton to be Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, the first appointment ever from within the Department.
  • 1998 – HUD opens Enforcement Center to take action against HUD-assisted multifamily property owners and other HUD fund recipients who violate laws and regulations. Congress approves Public Housing reforms to reduce segregation by race and income, encourage and reward work, bring more working families into public housing, and increase the availability of subsidized housing for very poor families.
  • 2000 – America’s homeownership rate reaches a new record-high of 67.7 percent in the third quarter of 2000. A total of 71.6 million American families own their homes – more than at any time in American history.
  • 2001 – Mel Martinez, named by President George W. Bush to be Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, is unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate on January 23, 2001.
  • 2004 – Alphonso Jackson, named by President George W. Bush to be Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, is unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate on March 31, 2004. Mr. Jackson is the first Deputy Secretary to subsequently be named Secretary.
  • 2007 – HUD initiates program providing seller concessions to buyers of HUD homes, allowing them to use a down payment of $100.
  • 2013 – HUD announces it will “close its offices on May 24 and possibly six other days” as a result of the budget sequestration in 2013.