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The goal of Cityscape is to bring high-quality original research on housing and community development issues to scholars, government officials, and practitioners. Cityscape is open to all relevant disciplines, including architecture, consumer research, demography, economics, engineering, ethnography, finance, geography, law, planning, political science, public policy, regional science, sociology, statistics, and urban studies.

Cityscape is published three times a year by the Office of Policy Development and Research (PD&R) of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

  • Brownfields
  • Volume 12 Number 3

Field Survey of HUD Site Contamination Policy

Eugene Goldfarb

As with the articles in this issue, this introduction reflects the views of the authors and does not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.


From 2000 through late 2009, the housing arm of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Federal Housing Administration (FHA), recommended a "dig-to-clean" approach for contaminated sites rather than the risk-based corrective action (RBCA) approach favored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and state Voluntary Cleanup Programs. Most offices followed FHA’s dig-to-clean guidance and did not approve projects on brownfield sites. Some, however, tried to promote redevelopment of housing on brownfield sites by following RBCA. This article, based on a 2007 survey of HUD field office practice, discusses the issues encountered when field offices tried to resolve, on a case-by-case, project-level basis, the conflict between site contamination and brownfield redevelopment.

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