HUD is good for Brookline

To the Editor:

I was taken aback by Jack Flanagan’s attack on HUD.

HUD is the cabinet-level federal department that defines its mission as “to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all.” How can someone disagree with such goals?

As a real estate agent, I’ve come to know HUD as the agency that guarantees equal opportunity in housing through its oversight of the Fair Housing Act.

The FHA, which guarantees mortgage loans to millions of Americans, is a division of HUD. I’m sure many Brookline residents thought themselves lucky to secure an FHA-backed mortgage when they were purchasing their home in our town.

As someone who frequently utilized government grants in my former career, I will admit grants come with “strings.” Those “strings” are very narrowly defined by the grant, and usually just state that the group receiving the grant has to abide by the rules and procedures set down in the grant application.

It was to Brookline’s detriment that the selectmen reversed their position on accepting the HUD grant on arguments, such as those Mr. Flanagan set forth in his letter. I hope that the present and future select boards will deliberate and vote more carefully from now on.

STEVE RUSSO

Brookline