HUD No. 08-046
March 31, 2008
JACKSON TO STEP DOWN AS HUD SECRETARY
Helping families keep their homes and transforming public housing underscore Jackson�s seven-year tenure at HUD
WASHINGTON � U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson announced today he will be stepping down as the nation�s chief housing officer. Jackson will conclude his government service as the nation�s 13th HUD Secretary on April 18, 2008.
�During my time here, I have sought to make America a better place to live, work and raise a family,� said Jackson, who served as Deputy Secretary and then Secretary. �I take great pride in working alongside some of the most dedicated civil servants in America. The hardworking people at HUD make a difference in the lives of thousands of Americans daily.�
With a strong background and expertise in housing and community development, Jackson oversaw HUD�s $37 billion budget and 9,200 employees. Under the Secretary�s leadership, the Department established groundbreaking solutions to:
- Help families keep their homes and revitalize the Federal Housing Administration;
- Transform public housing;
- Increase and preserve affordable housing;
- Help rebuild the battered Gulf Coast following the 2005 hurricanes;
- Increase minority homeownership; and
- Reduce chronic homelessness.
To help families keep their homes, Jackson oversaw internal changes at HUD's Federal Housing Administration (FHA) that led to a revival of FHA and the opportunity for more homeowners to obtain safer, more affordable mortgages. Applications for home loans insured by FHA are at a four-year high. The creation of FHASecure, which Jackson implemented in September 2007, has helped more than 130,000 families refinance their exotic subprime loans. Jackson also led the Bush Administration's efforts on Capitol Hill to further modernize the FHA and helped assemble a private-sector group called the HOPE NOW Alliance that is helping struggling homeowners. Further, funding for housing counseling has increased 150 percent since 2001 for HUD's 2,300 approved counseling agencies. Today, more than 75 million Americans are homeowners, including 3.5 million minority homeowners since 2002.
Secretary Jackson oversaw a national movement to redevelop public housing around the country into better, affordable and safer mixed income communities. This historic transformation is successfully taking place in some of the nation's largest cities, including Chicago, New Orleans, Atlanta, and Charlotte. Jackson is a passionate advocate for ensuring low-income families have the opportunity to live in socially and economically integrated environments where their children can play safely and families can thrive. The Secretary is a former member of the National Commission on Severely Distressed Public Housing and the head of three public housing agencies.
Jackson also fought for those most in need, including the homeless, elderly and disabled, and families displaced by the 2005 hurricanes. For the first time ever, HUD reported a nearly 12 percent decrease in the number of chronically homeless persons living on the nation's streets between 2005 and 2006. With approximately $10 billion in record funding since 2001, Jackson strongly supported the housing and service needs of the homeless in local communities.
HUD has allocated nearly $20 billion in federal funds as part of the largest housing recovery program in U.S. history to help states and local communities rebuild the Gulf Coast. Over 2,000 HUD-owned homes and more than 76,000 HUD-assisted or HUD-insured multifamily properties have been repaired since the hurricanes. Jackson has also led the Administration's efforts to provide 28,000 families with disaster housing vouchers and to take over the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) apartment rental program for another 40,000 families. Working with local resident leaders and city officials in New Orleans, HUD has also put in place a comprehensive plan for turning blighted public housing into safe, mixed-income neighborhoods.
To increase and preserve affordable housing, Secretary Jackson has called on local communities to reduce or eliminate barriers that drive up the cost of housing. To date, more than 175 local communities and organizations are participating in HUD's National Call to Action for Affordable Housing Through Regulatory Reform, which was implemented in 2007. HUD's HOME program, the largest Federal block grant program for affordable housing, continues to receive more funding and has helped build 820,000 more affordable housing units since 1992.
Finally, by implementing the President's Management Agenda at HUD, Jackson put in motion a reform plan to ensure taxpayers dollars are spent wisely and well. As a result, HUD was removed from the Government Accountability's "High-Risk" list last year. This marked the first time in 13 years no HUD programs were on the list.
"There comes a time when one must attend more diligently to personal and family matters. Now is such a time for me," Jackson added.
Secretary Jackson first joined the Bush Administration in June of 2001 as HUD's Deputy Secretary and Chief Operating Officer. He was unanimously confirmed as the nation's 13th Secretary of HUD by the Senate on March 31, 2004. He is the only HUD Secretary to run a public housing agency and serve as chairman of a redevelopment authority.
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, and enforces the nation's fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet and espanol.hud.gov. For more information about FHA products, please visit www.fha.gov.