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HUD’s Web Clinics Help Partners Build Web Sites That Work

by Candi Harrison, HUD Web Manager

HUD’s new Web Clinics for HUD Partners are helping to build the infrastructure for electronic government. HUD - like many federal agencies - delivers most of its services via nonprofits, public housing agencies, state and local governments, and other entities. So, to meet the goal of electronic government, HUD’s Web Team is out teaching those partners how to create web sites that deliver the services HUD funds. The goal: use HUD’s web site to tell citizens about HUD-funded services and then link them to the service, provided through the partners’ web sites.

The Web Clinics address 5 basic topics.

  • "What can you do with the web?" uses HUD’s experiences - including some of the ups and downs they encountered - to show how public service organizations can use the web to meet the needs of citizens;
  • "Managing your web site" goes over some common sense do’s and don’ts for organizing a web site;
  • "Marketing your web site" offers low cost and no cost ideas for getting the word out about a web site;
  • "Creating your web site" goes right to the heart of the effort - it takes participants through a simple 10-step process to develop the content of their web sites; and
  • "Tips and Tricks for Low-Cost Web Sites" tells them how to get all their technical support for free.

Since February, HUD’s Web Team has trained 300 people representing 245 organizations, including 65 nonprofits, faith-based groups, and educational institutions; 72 PHAs and housing organizations; 33 government entities; and 75 other community groups and organizations. Evaluations speak for themselves:

  • "You pulled the curtain away from Oz and made the web and website design much easier." - Maricopa County Housing Department
  • "A nuts and bolts cookbook approach to designing a website - this was great!" - Memphis Family Shelter
  • "The session went far beyond my expectations. Shows how modern government agencies are and the move to focus on customers/citizens" - Interfaith Housing Center (Chicago)
  • "After the workshop, I remarked to everyone how impressed I was...HUD has morphed from monolithic bureaucracy to this great user friendly entity. It seems the e-culture has really been very important - if not key - to the change." - Safenet (Pittsburgh)
  • "I have had the web project on my plate for 8 months...(I didn’t) know where to start...but after attending this clinic, I am literally chomping at the bit to get back to my desk and get started." - Cuyahogo Metropolitan Housing Authority

The Clinics are just the beginning of HUD’s web partnership with these groups. They can visit a chat room on HUD’s web site, just for Web Clinic alumni. There, they can share successes, critique one another’s web sites, or pose questions to HUD’s Web Team. A companion software is being developed for Web Clinic participants that will cue them through the steps to build the content of their web sites and, at the end, create a very simple web site for them.

HUD’s Web Clinics are paving the way for seamless citizen services, via the internet. For a list of upcoming Web Clinics, visit:

About the Author

Candi Harrison is Web Manager for the Department of Housing and Urban Development in Washington, DC. You may reach her at (202) 708-1547 or


July 2000