April 1, 2004
ALPHONSO JACKSON SWORN IN AS HUD SECRETARY
Lifetime Housing Leader Pledges to Focus on Homeownership, Affordable Housing
and Management Reform
WASHINGTON - Alphonso Jackson today became the nation's highest-ranking housing official a day after the United States Senate confirmed his nomination to be the 13th Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Jackson, who was sworn in at a private ceremony at the Department late Thursday afternoon, promised to continue building on the nation's record homeownership rate, increasing access to affordable housing for low-income families and improving sound management practices within HUD.
"Boosting the number of homeowners, and minority homeowners in particular, is one of the President's domestic priorities, and a personal priority of mine," said Jackson. "As Secretary, I will work tirelessly to promote this Administration's compassionate agenda, believing that we best serve our neighbors in need by empowering them to pursue their dreams."
For nearly three years, Jackson served as HUD's Deputy Secretary, managing the day-to-day operations of a department with 9,300 employees and an annual budget of $32 billion. Jackson has extensive housing, finance and management experience having directed public housing authorities in St. Louis, Washington, DC and Dallas. Jackson also served as chairman of two redevelopment agencies in Washington, DC and St. Louis. Under his leadership, the Dallas Housing Authority received the highest-ranking HUD awarded to any big city public housing agency - consistently scoring 94 on a 100-point management scale to measure the performance of local housing authorities.
In his confirmation testimony before the Senate Banking Committee, Jackson also pledged to continue improving HUD's own management. Jackson said, "My experiences as a public servant are balanced by my work in the private sector. There, I learned the importance of effective management in a successful enterprise. Sound management and excellence in program performance are critical to any organization's success."
Jackson grew up in Dallas as the youngest of 12 children. In his professional life, Jackson received numerous Presidential and other Appointments: The National Commission on America's Urban Families (92-93); Regional Selection Panel for the White House Fellowship Programs (90-92); and, The National Commission on Severely Distressed Public Housing (90-92). In addition, Jackson was a member of the National Welfare Simplification and Coordination Advisory Committee (92-93) and served as Chairman of the General Services Commission of the State of Texas (95-98). For a more detailed biography on Jackson, visit /secretaries/jacksonbio.cfm.
HUD is the nation's housing agency committed to increasing homeownership, particularly among minorities; creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans; and 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 and espanol.hud.gov.