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Webcasting: HUD Broadcasts Online

Catch a HUD Webcast at Your Convenience

If you -- a citizen or business partner -- canít make the broadcast time, no problem. Each live broadcast is archived and becomes part of HUDís video library, allowing you access, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

May 10, 1999

By Joanne L. Johnson and Samuel R. Gallagher

The Department of Housing and Urban Development is broadcasting training, public service announcements, press conferences and other important information via the web.

In doing that, HUD is empowering citizens and potential and current business partners by giving them more information when they need it, in a cost effective manner. By broadcasting video through the web-- "Webcasting" -- HUD has enhanced communications with citizens and business partners. Webcasts let people, who might not otherwise be able to participate, attend events "live" through the web. If a citizen or business partner canít make the broadcast time, no problem. Each live broadcast is archived and becomes part of HUDís video library, allowing access, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

No Boundaries

HUD has taken geography out of the training equation. Citizens no longer have to go to a place for training or a press conference. Now anyone can see it from their own home or office on their own time schedule. HUDís online video library includes conferences on how to combat hate and hate crimes in your community, significant speeches and press conferences, and training on computer programs that HUDís business partners use daily.

No longer does a small public housing authority have to send a staff person several hours away to attend a 2-hour training session. If there is an important funding training session scheduled for a time that conflicts with the citizenís schedule, they can choose to view it anytime, 24 hours a day, from the HUD web site.

Save Time and Travel

Webcasts allow citizens to attend training and other events from their homes or offices, on their own schedules. It saves them travel time and costs. Plus it lets them fit training into their own schedules instead of forcing them to organize their schedules around HUDís. And it lets them return, again and again, to reference all or parts of the videos. Webcasting makes information available to everyone who is interested -- not just to a small group who may have been invited to a training session or event.

For example, HUDís audience can view in the video library "Healing Neighborhoods" a 3-part series of conferences as a follow up to the White House Hate Crimes Conference on Overcoming Racial and Cultural Conflicts or a training session on the latest software for tracking multifamily housing. It lets people see the full video of a press conference or speech, for example, without editing by CNN or another intermediary.

What People Are Saying

The response has been overwhelmingly positive. Fred Zawilinski, Portage Metropolitan Housing Authority said, "A particular advantage to the webcast format is that I do not have to fit my schedule to the live broadcast schedule, thanks to the library approach you are using at the HUD site. I havenít driven 60 minutes to Cleveland one way to find out the session isnít what I needed. Also, I would estimate approximately $30 per trip for mileage and parking, as well as an additional $40 in lost wages and fringes for my time in the driving to and from Cleveland. You could say I would have attended three of the sessions in Cleveland were it not for webcasts. Another two-three different webcasts I would never have seen were it not for the Internet. I consider this a great administrative efficiency, and what the web is supposed to be all about."

Dorothy Sasser, Executive Director, Chipley Housing Authority said, "The webcasts are very worthwhile in my opinion. The cost for one to attend one training would be about $300-$400 and place the Housing Authority employee out of the office for two days. This is a big savings to a Small Authority. Sometimes the training is not even considered unless it is close in the area in order to save dollars. I think this type of training is very beneficial because it allows other staff members to observe the training first hand."

Library Expands

Some of the highlights HUDís webcasts have included: Connecting Community and Faith-based Non-Profit Organizations with HUD Funding through the SuperNOFA; Continuum of Care and HOPWA Programs; CPD Technical Assistance Programs; Drug Elimination Programs-Multifamily, New Approach, and Overview; Drug Elimination Programs Technical Assistance and Overview; Economic Development Supportive Services; EDI and BEDI; Fair Housing and Housing Counseling Program; HOPE VI Grants; Lead Hazard Control Program; Rural Housing and Economic Development Program; Self-Help Homeownership Opportunities Program; Supportive Housing Programs; University and College Programs; Youthbuild; Law Enforcement in Public Housing; MTCS; Quality Housing and Work Responsibility Act of 1998; Section 8 Contract Renewals; and Six Steps to Year 2000 Readiness.

Outreach Grows

HUD estimates more than 3,000 citizens and business partners have tuned into one of their 30 online "webcasts," in the past nine months. Webcasts have great potential for conversations with America, virtual teams, and other outreach efforts. It is easy to imagine the marriage of computers and TV to change the way the public gets information. HUD is committed to providing the most cost efficient training and improving services to all Americans.

About the Authors

Joanne L. Johnson and Samuel R. Gallagher are Deputy Web Managers at the Department of Housing and Urban Development in Washington, D.C. You may reach them at (202) 708-1547 or or