The Washington Post

Failing roof forces HUD staff evacuation

Home repairs are always inconvenient. They are somewhat embarrassing when you are the lead federal housing agency.

The 10th floor of the 43-year-old Department of Housing and Urban Development headquarters has been evacuated. That is the top floor, the one where Secretary Shaun L. Donovan Secretary, Deputy Secretary Ronald C. Sims and the other executive staff are located.

Apparently the roof is in danger of caving in. The structural supports are beginning to fail. Donovan recently moved down to the 9th floor, we were told, and some 300 other staffers moved out of their offices Sunday.

The structural problems were discovered during a roof-replacement project, a spokesman said. A team of contractors will be working two shifts to move things quickly, he said, but it looks like it could take a couple of months before the top brass can move back into their homes.

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Al Kamen, an award-winning columnist on the national staff of The Washington Post, created the “In the Loop” column in 1993.


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