HUD plans to start a study to determine whether structural changes are necessary for the Federal Housing Administration to continue as an effective public policy-oriented agency, but the thrift industry has suggested HUD's initiative is, rather, an attempt to head off a similar congressional proposal in favor of a potentially less-intensive, self-serving study.

HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros and FHA Commissioner Nicholas Retsinas announced the study during a May 31 press conference. The Retsinas-led study, which will be conducted through a series of hearings in six cities across the country, will take between six and eight months to complete. HUD will try to develop "a consensus on the public policy purpose of FHA and what's the ... most appropriate measure to incorporate," then presenting their findings to Congress next year, Cisneros said.

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