What is HUD Ideas in Action?
HUD Ideas in Action, powered by UserVoice
, allows people to come together, share ideas in response to a question, discuss those ideas, and vote the best ones to the top for consideration by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The tool was initially used to gather ideas that further HUD's fiscal year 2010-2015 Strategic Plan and as a forum for HUD employees and stakeholders to share their ideas for improving HUD, and now solicits feedback on a number of external and internal matters.
HUD Ideas in Action consists of two main forums, along with a number of finite rotating forums. The public feedback
forum allows the public and HUD employees to share their ideas on any issue related to HUD operations. The internal feedback
forum is only open to HUD employees and allows those within HUD to submit ideas on how HUD can transform the way it does business. As additional forums open, they will made available through the HUD Ideas in Action sidebar.
Can anyone see and use this forum?
Most discussion forums on the site are open to the public. However, there are also "employees only" forums open only to employees of the US Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD). If you are a HUD employee, you can access these forums by signing in or creating a UserVoice account with your HUD.gov email address. No email addresses will be displayed on the site; users will only be identified by their usernames, which they select when creating an account.
How do I create an account?
An account is not needed to participate in public forums, but creating an account will allow you to be notified if your idea is accepted for review or implementation, and for HUD employees, will allow you to participate in internal forums. To register with HUD Ideas in Action, simply click sign in in the upper-right corner of the page, below the header. You may either sign in using your Facebook or Google accounts (by clicking either icon) or inputting your email address to create a UserVoice account (HUD users, you'll need to use your HUD email address to access internal forums). From there, just follow the directions provided to confirm your email address and set a password.
How can I add my own idea to what's already here?
To add an idea, navigate to the right forum and simply begin typing a few key words of your idea into the search box near the top of the page. As you type, Ideas in Action will begin searching for similar ideas that been added by other users. If any of these ideas are similar to yours, you may want to vote for that idea instead of creating your own--one idea with many votes will be more visible than two ideas with fewer votes each. If you determine that your idea is not a duplicate, click the Post a new idea button and explain your idea a bit more comprehensively in the submission box that appears. Give 1, 2 or 3 of your own votes to your idea, then post it for others to see and vote on!
What makes an idea "good"?
A good idea is made up of three main parts: a statement of the problem
; a proposed, specific solution
to the problem; and the expected benefits
of the solution. Ideas submitted should further HUD's Strategic Plan
, be efficient, safe, and legal, and directly increase the effectiveness of government operations. Remember, we can only act on an idea if it is clearly articulated.
You have a set number of votes (typically 20) per forum to express your support for others' ideas, or to support your own. You can give any idea 1, 2, or 3 votes, depending on how strongly you support it. The number of votes you have remaining will always be displayed in the right-hand sidebar. Votes are not permanent; you may reallocate votes from one idea to another at any time, as many times as you like. To do this, simply click the vote button next to an idea you've voted for, and decrease the number of votes you'd like to give to that idea. When an idea is completed, your votes for that idea will be automatically returned to your vote allowance.
Why do I only have a certain number of votes per forum?
Ideas in Action's voting system is like having a "budget"--when people have a finite number of votes to "spend," they tend to think more carefully about what they really care about and how much they care about it. You should use your votes to support the ideas you think are most important, so that the overall best ideas and top priorities emerge.
Is every idea reviewed by HUD?
No. Although the Ideas in Action team encourages everyone to contribute as many good ideas as they come up with, not every idea will be selected for review and not every idea selected for review will be implemented. There are two main types of ideas that are selected for review: the ideas in each category that have received the most votes from other users on the site, and the ideas that are actionable and contribute to HUD's strategic goals. So to have your idea reviewed and possibly implemented, ensure that it's well-articulated and actionable in order to catch the interest of other voters and the Ideas in Action team.
Ideas that receive more than 30 votes will be selected for review by the appropriate program office within HUD, and ideas that receive more than 100 votes will be personally reviewed by HUD's Deputy Secretary.
What do the different statuses mean?
There are seven different statuses by which an idea can be marked:
- being reviewed: the idea has been accepted for review and will receive a response
- going to happen: the idea will be implemented in the future, or is in the process of being implemented
- you made it happen!: the idea has been implemented
- already happening: the idea was reviewed and no further action is required (for example, the proposed idea was already implemented)
- not going to happen: the idea was reviewed but will not be implemented
Why are some ideas moved to a different forum or merged together?
To make it easier for those who visit the site to find and add ideas, we have created forums that focus on specific issues or topics. Because votes are limited by forum, this also makes it possible for our users to better prioritize ideas by topic. So if an idea is placed in a forum that does not relate to that forum's topic, it will be moved to the correct forum. If an idea is created that is very similar to an already existing idea, the idea and any associated votes and comments will be merged into the existing idea.
Are ideas or comments ever removed from the website?
HUD Ideas in Action is an open forum where employees and stakeholders can contribute and comment on ideas. However, ideas or comments that are clearly spam or make an imminent threat of violence are removed.
Why is some personal information redacted from ideas or comments?
To protect users' privacy and the privacy of others, personally identifiable information such as names, social security numbers, phone numbers, addresses, and e-mail addresses included with an idea or comment will be redacted. Please do not include this information when submitting ideas or comments.
Can others view my personal information when I post, comment, or vote on ideas?
The only information other Ideas in Action users can see when you post or comment on an idea is the username you supplied when signing up for an Ideas in Action account. Your email address will never be shared, and you can change your username at any time by clicking the Settings link beneath your name in the right sidebar, selecting Edit Name, and replacing your current username with anything else you're comfortable with.
Users will never be able to identify others who have voted on an idea, as no personal information is shared when you vote.