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Free housing event Friday in Farmingdale

"On the Road Again" could be one federal agency’s theme song this year.

Three or four White House administrations ago, the Department of Housing and Urban Development used to hold “HUD in Your Neighborhood” events across the country. Now, to counter the “ivory tower” complex, the idea has been resurrected by HUD regional administrator, Adolfo Carrion, and Rep. Steve Israel (D-Dix Hills).

The first such event will be on Friday at Farmingdale State College, where more than a dozen HUD officials will brief the public, housing agencies and community leaders on their programs and even welcome criticism.

“We want to take HUD’s programming on the road,” said Henry Comas, a senior analyst for the HUD region that covers Long Island. “We want to bring it to their door steps, bring it to your backyard. HUD’s considered to be in an ivory tower, and we want to be more user friendly.”

The free event, which goes from 9:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m., starts with breakfast at the college’s Gleason Hall, followed by various discussions on healthy homes, filing complaints under the Fair Housing Act, public housing programs, foreclosures and more.

“Too often my constituents have to navigate bureaucracy in Washington,” Israel said. “Having the top officials from HUD here on Long Island, rather than relying on key short discussions over email or on conference calls is an important opportunity for local community leaders and non-profits.”

HUD officials said they hope people will like them in their neighborhood and plan to hold more in New York and New Jersey.


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