President Nominates Texas Mayor as New HUD Secretary

Texas Mayor Julián Castro is poised to join the President’s Cabinet to serve as secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) following President Obama’s nomination of Castro, announced Friday.

Castro would replace HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan, who the President nominated to be the next director of the Office of Management and Budget. 

“As mayor [of San Antonio], Julián has been focused on revitalizing one of our most wonderful cities — planning thousands of housing units downtown, attracting hundreds of millions of dollars of investment,” Obama said in remarks during the nomination. “He’s built relationships with mayors all across the country. He’s become a leader in housing and economic development.”

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Industry advocates supported the nomination in published statements on Friday. 

“Upon his confirmation to the Cabinet post, NAHB looks forward to working with Mr. Castro to promote policies that will ensure stable and liquid mortgage markets for single-family and multifamily housing and to address the many challenges that face our industry, including persistently tight credit conditions that are preventing qualified buyers from obtaining home loans,” said Kevin Kelly, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

David H. Stevens, President and CEO of the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), said MBA also supports the nomination.

“Castro is a brilliant academic who will come to HUD with practical experience in a major city with diverse housing needs,” Stevens said. “He is a forward thinking policy advocate who will bring a youthful vigor to the department. His work in San Antonio has been thoughtful and innovative and he will be a welcome addition to the President’s Cabinet.”

Castro, 39—whose mother had once worked at the San Antonio Housing Authority—found the HUD post appealing because it would allow him to work on issues he has focused on as mayor, according to associates familiar with his thinking.

At the nomination event Castro said, “America’s cities are growing again, and housing is at the top of the agenda. I look forward to being part of a department that will help ensure that millions of Americans all across the country have the chance to get good, safe, affordable housing and to reach their American dreams.”

Donovan, 48, has served as HUD secretary since January 2009 and led the agency through the foreclosure crisis.

Obama highlighted Donovan’s achievements during the nomination event, saying, “He’s changed the way HUD uses data to solve problems and save taxpayer dollars. He’s helped build strong, sustainable neighborhoods — and connect those neighborhoods with good schools and good jobs. He’s helped reduce homelessness among our veterans by 24 percent since 2010.  And he’s helped 4.3 million families buy their piece of the American Dream: a new home.”

Written by Cassandra Dowell