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HUD issues 'Deconcentration' policy and warns against non-compliance.

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo recently issued a policy directive designed to break down concentrations of public housing residents by race and income and increase racial, ethnic and economic integration in public housing developments where 1.3 million families live.

Under the policy, known as "deconcentration", the nation's 3,200 public housing authorities will house residents with different income levels in the same buildings and apartment developments. This will prevent a concentration of the poorest families in certain buildings and developments, as well as a concentration of families with somewhat higher incomes in other buildings and developments.

Cuomo's policy directive ending public housing segregation also promotes integration by requiring housing authorities to ensure that their admissions policies "affirmatively further fair housing to reduce racial and national origin concentrations." These efforts may include marketing of public housing in particular neighborhoods to families from groups that don't typically live in those neighborhoods; providing more consultation and information about housing opportunities to applicants for public housing; and providing more supportive services and amenities to public housing developments to make them more attractive to new residents.

"Segregation is an ugly part of our past that has no place in the 21st century," Cuomo said. "If we are ever to become the One America envisioned by President Clinton and achieve Martin Luther King's dream of justice and equality, we need to come together as neighbors and not remain apart."

The One America commitment made by President Clinton and Vice President Gore says that "the federal government should lead the way in word and deed in ensuring that families not be segregated by race or income."

Under the new deconcentration policy, which HUD will implement through a regulation, housing authorities will be required to annually classify buildings and prospective tenants by incomes. This new directive will not permit the concentration of relatively low-income families in some buildings and higher income families in other buildings. Instead, authorities will be required to fill vacancies in lower-income buildings with higher income residents and similarly, vacancies in its higher-income buildings with lower-income applicants.

In order to achieve income deconcentration, housing authorities will be allowed to temporarily skip particular families on their waiting lists.

No families currently in a public housing unit or receiving a Section 8 rental assisdeals.

The evolution of the site began when Richard L. Podos, an Equis vice president who was an active Internet lead and deal chaser, got together with veteran brokers, RE/Locate co-founders CEO Bruce Weissberg and president Michael K. Sapers. "We started working on this last year, and I've just been very excited to do this," said Podos.

RealtyIQ.com will be free for approximately the next two months, and then expects to charge individual brokers somewhere around $25 to $50 a month to quickly gain subscribers.

"Our focus is on helping the real estate community become more efficient," said Podos. They will also be added other tools and information. Currently, they are obtaining news content from Commercial Real Estate Direct's Verti News.

CoStar creates its own news as its numerous researchers collect data from brokers. Its pricing varies, depending on the number of users and the markets desired, and whether or not the brokerage also subscribes to its separate CrossTrac tenant data base, which is then integrated into the main CoStar screen under a separate tab. Updates can be downloaded daily from a dial up service that will soon be accessible directly through the web. But safe to say, its services are not under $100, and can run into thousands of dollars for a large company.

Marc J. Freud, a principle with RAK Associates, thinks there is still room for many real estate information portals.

"Real estate professionals are not content to use one single site," he said. "It's still early in the game to find out who is going to be a leader, but you don't want to tie up the real estate broker or agent to only one way of obtaining information."

Sure, Freud says, the roll of the brokers is diminishing because a lot of properties are listed for sale on the Internet, and eventually, that could put pressure on commissions. On the other hand, Freud said, "the brokers and buyers can now get critical content and make decisions a lot quicker."
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Title Annotation:United States Department of Housing and Urban Development
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Apr 5, 2000
Words:715
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