HUD No. 05-158
November 15, 2005
FORMER FLORIDA HOUSING OFFICIAL TO HEAD PUBLIC HOUSING PROGRAMS
Orlando Cabrera named Assistant Secretary for Office of Public and Indian Housing
WASHINGTON - The Department of Housing and Urban Development announced today that Orlando Cabrera has been appointed the new Assistant Secretary for HUD's Office of Public and Indian Housing - the highest-funded division within the agency. After swift confirmation by the Senate, HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson swore in the former Florida housing official today at the agency's Washington headquarters. In this post, Cabrera will lead HUD's efforts to ensure safe, decent and affordable housing for low-income families throughout the U.S.
"I'm convinced Orlando, with his extensive housing experience, will make an immediate impact here," said Jackson. As a Florida native, he's no stranger to the devastating impact of hurricanes and I'm confident he's the right person to help housing authorities in the affected area, and those nationwide, to face the challenges ahead.?
'I am truly honored to be given the opportunity to serve our country as Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing,' said Cabrera. 'I have always had a strong belief in the importance of having safe, decent, affordable housing in order to help America's families thrive.'
HUD's Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH) is responsible for managing and administering a range of programs, including the two largest federal rental assistance programs - public housing and the Housing Choice Voucher Program, formerly known as Section 8. Combined the programs serve more than 3.2 million low-income families in the U.S. It also monitors the operations of the nation's 3,400 public housing authorities that manage the country's more than 1.2 million public housing units and administer other HUD programs.
Cabrera will oversee the PIH budget - which in fiscal year 2005 was $19.2 billion, more than half of the agency's overall $35.4 billion budget. In addition, he is also charged with creating self-sufficiency and economic opportunities to residents of low-income housing.
Cabrera has had extensive experience in the housing industry. Before joining HUD, he served as Executive Director of the Florida Housing Finance Corporation, known locally as Florida Housing. Florida Housing, an agency of the State of Florida, has financed the construction of over 160,000 units and mortgages for homeowners who, in turn, purchased tens of thousands of homes in the State of Florida.
Cabrera's ascension to Executive Director of Florida Housing began with Florida Governor Jeb Bush's appointment to the agency's Board of Directors in 2000. A year later he became Vice Chairman and quickly assumed the Chairmanship prior to the board naming him Executive Director in 2003. During his tenure, Florida Housing financed the construction of both rental and homeownership units to make housing options available to Floridians. Under his leadership, from Board member to Executive Director, Florida Housing developed more units for extremely low income Floridians than had ever been developed in 20 years.
As Executive Director, Cabrera spearheaded the agency's technology modernization and the upgrading of data systems. He maintained and improved Florida Housing's financial condition and led its efforts to better serve low income Floridians. Cabrera was intensely involved in Florida's hurricane recovery efforts and served on Governor Bush's Hurricane Housing Work Group.
Cabrera was elected and served as a Director on the Board of the National Council of State Housing Agencies. And in 2001, Miami Mayor Manny Diaz appointed Cabrera Chairman of the city's Community Development and Housing Committee.
Prior to his selection to lead Florida Housing, Cabrera was a partner with the Miami arm of Holland & Knight, LLP, an international law firm where he specialized in real estate and corporate law.
Cabrera earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1984 from the University of Michigan and his law degree in 1989 from the University of Wisconsin Law School. He is married and has two sons.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.