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HUD Archives: News Releases

HUD No. 98-567
Further Information:For Release
In the Washington, DC area: 202/708-0685Monday
Or contact your local HUD officeOctober 26, 1998


WASHINGTON - The Senate has confirmed President Clinton's nominees for five top posts at the Department of Housing and Urban Development:

  • Saul Ramirez, Jr. of Laredo, TX, as Deputy Secretary.
  • William C. Apgar of Newton, MA, as Assistant Secretary for Housing and Federal Housing Commissioner.
  • Harold Lucas of Newark, NJ, as Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing.
  • Cardell Cooper of East Orange, NJ, as Assistant Secretary for Community Planning and Development.
  • Ira G. Peppercorn of Indianapolis, as Director of the Office of Multifamily Housing Assistance Restructuring.

"These talented and dedicated public servants will play a key role in helping HUD to succeed in its mission," Secretary Andrew Cuomo said.

Ramirez has been serving as Acting Deputy Secretary since February, when Cuomo asked him to step up from his former role as Assistant Secretary for Community Planning and Development. He was officially nominated to the post in June. As Deputy Secretary he is responsible for assisting Cuomo in overseeing the day-to-day operations of HUD. In addition, the Secretary asked Ramirez to spearhead the implementation of HUD's 2020 Management Reform Plan. Ramirez served as head of CPD since 1997, where he was responsible for major programs such as community development, homeless assistance and economic development. Ramirez served as mayor of Laredo, TX for eight years before coming to HUD. He also co-chaired the U.S. Conference of Mayor's Task Force on Immigration, served on the Board of Trustees of the U. S. Conference of Mayors, and was previously in the cattle ranching business.

Apgar was nominated by President Clinton in June to serve as Assistant Secretary of Housing and as the Federal Housing Commissioner. He advises the Secretary regarding mortgage insurance and multifamily assisted housing program, related functions of production, financing, and management as well as conservation and rehabilitation of housing stock. The Assistant Secretary also chairs the Mortgage Review Board. Apgar is currently on leave from Harvard University where he served as Executive Director of the Joint Center for Housing Studies since 1987. He has also served as a lecturer in Public Policy at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Lucas served as Executive Director of the Newark Housing Authority from 1992 until June of 1998, when he came to HUD. As Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing he advises the Secretary and manages all program areas regarding the development, modernization, funding, management and administration of public housing and Indian housing. At the Newark Housing Authority he supervised the overall management and directed the implementation of the annual budget for the largest public housing authority in New Jersey. From 1986 to 1992, he was the Director of Development for the City of Newark.

Cooper is the former Mayor of East Orange, NJ, serving from 1990 until December 1997. Prior to his position as Mayor of East Orange, from 1988 to 1990, Cooper served as the County Administrator for the County of Essex, NJ, where he was responsible for the daily management of the largest county in the state of New Jersey. From 1986 to 1988, Cooper was the Business Administrator for the City of Irvington, NJ. As Assistant Secretary for Community Planning and Development, Cooper oversees major neighborhood revitalization, economic development, housing and homelessness programs within HUD. The Assistant Secretary is responsible for the oversight of important community, economic and housing rehabilitation programs such as the Community Development Block Grant, HOME Investment Partnerships, Housing for People with AIDS, and various other programs that provide funding for shelters, housing and support services to homeless people. He has served as Acting Assistant Secretary since his nomination by President Clinton in July.

Peppercorn will serve as Director of the Office of Multifamily Housing Assistance Restructuring a newly-created position established by Congress in 1997. He will oversee implementation of a new law that establishes authority for reducing above-market Section 8 subsidies to certain multifamily rental housing projects and restructuring the debt, insured by the Federal Housing Administration. Prior to his confirmation, Peppercorn served as General Deputy Assistant Secretary for Housing/Federal Housing Administration Commissioner. From 1990 to 1997, he served as the Executive Director of the Indiana Housing Finance Authority and the senior advisor on housing issues to Governors Evan Bayh and Frank O'Bannon. He has also been a Vice President for Business Development at GE Capital, Director of Financial Services at the Indiana Department of Commerce, and Secretary-Manager for the Indiana Development Finance Authority where he managed the state's industrial finance programs. He was nominated by President Clinton in September.

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