By BUILDER Magazine Staff. It's no secret that local regulations often discourage the growth of affordable housing. But HUD plans to use the Internet to help builders overcome such barriers. The department hopes to launch an online Regulatory Barriers Clearinghouse sometime this year.

The Clearinghouse will solicit stories from people who have found ways around those barriers. Eventually, a builder encountering a roadblock will be able to search the Web site to see how other builders have dealt with similar problems. There's no word on just when the service will be available. Interested builders should keep an eye on the HUD User site: