Scott C. Hudman
July 26, 2002
HUD NAMES LIAISON FOR COMMUNITY AND FAITH-BASED ORGANIZATIONS IN SOUTHWEST REGION
FORT WORTH - Housing and Urban Development Secretary Mel Martinez today announced
Roberto Gomez will serve
as the Department's principle liaison to community and faith-based organizations in HUD's Southwest Region.
Roberto "Beto" Gomez will act as HUD's primary point of contact with faith-based and community groups seeking information, technical assistance and funding opportunities in the Southwest. Mr. Gomez, a long time HUD employee, is extremely familiar with community-based programs within HUD. His experience in the field will provide a valuable contact for faith based organizations in Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Texas.
"Beto will be an indispensable resource to these organizations
as we seek to facilitate their participation in HUD's mission of
providing critically needed housing and other services to people
in need," said A. Cynthia Leon. "This is
just one more way we can level the playing field for smaller faith-based and community groups who are doing so
much good at the grassroots level."
Mr. Gomez said, "I'm thrilled to be HUD's liaison to these community and faith-based groups. I'm hopeful I can help continue to break down the barriers that may prevent the full inclusion of these important organizations in the Department's work in their neighborhoods."
taking office, President Bush established Centers for Faith-Based
and Community Initiatives in five
major cabinet agencies, including HUD, to evaluate policies, funding programs, and agency outreach efforts to
ensure that they emphasize effectiveness and hospitality to faith-based and community-based organizations.
Martinez directed a top-to-bottom review of all HUD programs to identify barriers to the participation of community- and faith-based organizations. As a result, HUD is working to remove these barriers and reach out to the faith community and other grassroots organizations that are uniquely positioned to more effectively provide social
services to low-income Americans.
Martinez released a bilingual "how-to guide" to help faith-based
organizations encourage homeownership opportunities, particularly
among minority families who continue to lag behind historic homeownership
rates. Ten Things Your Faith Community Can Do To Encourage Homeownership
offers faith-based grassroots organizations an easy-to-read guide
to promoting homeownership in their communities. Earlier this year,
HUD Secretary Mel Martinez also issued guidance to approximately
3,200 local public housing agencies granting them the authority
"an open door policy" for faith-based organizations to provide social services to public housing residents.
HUD is the nation's housing agency committed to increasing homeownership, particularly among minorities, creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans, supporting the homeless, elderly, people with disabilities and people living with AIDS. The Department also promotes economic and community development as well as enforces the nation's fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov.