In response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, the National Reconnaissance Office last week released to the Federation of American Scientists the unclassified portions of the NRO Congressional Budget Justification Book for Fiscal Year 2006.
“You have joined a very exclusive club of people who not only win FOIA cases but actually get some documents as a result,” wrote Harry Hammitt, editor of the newsletter Access Reports.
The two-volume, 582-page document was almost entirely blacked out on national security classification grounds. But a few substantive narrative portions were released (and will be posted once our scanner is fixed).
Perhaps more important, the lawsuit successfully countered the claim that such records can be excluded from FOIA processing by designating them as “operational files.”
See “Watchdog wins release of National Reconnaissance Office documents” by Daniel Friedman, Federal Times, January 9.
These policy proposals will simplify the affordable housing qualification process for all federal housing programs, primarily focusing on PBV and LIHTC, to move eligible households into vacant units more quickly.
A uniform software tool for inputting building permit data would make the U.S. Census Bureau’s Building Permit Survey (BPS) more reliable, and it would also facilitate more fine-grained geographical analysis of new housing development.
The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) should prioritize funding water projects for local governments that would expand the production of new housing in their service areas if given the water resources to do so.
Congress needs to amend the definition of a manufactured home to remove the phrase “on a permanent chassis.” By doing this, Congress can eliminate wasted construction materials, allow new multifamily design options under the HUD Code, and unleash competition from factory-built manufactured housing.