New HUD Head

In the midst of my final reviews I somehow missed that Shaun Donovan was appointed to Obama's cabinet as secretary of Housing and Urban Development. When I finally saw the news while reviewing Obama's cabinet selections this afternoon, I actually pumped a happy fist in the air.

I had the chance to meet with Donovan a couple times when he was the head of New York's Department of Housing Preservation and Development while I was working with a team analyzing the potential for housing built on platforms over railways and highways.

I worked on the project only briefly, and with Donovan specifically even less. Even so, he made a strong impression on me. He struck me as remarkably creative -- a rare talent in a field like housing where a mastery of the numbers of finance and economics is paramount. An architect, Donovan also demonstrated an ability to think spatially, conceiving of solutions that were neither pure planning nor pure finance.

Although the work ahead for Donovan and Obama is tremendous, I am encouraged by this new direction for HUD. It's a time for change, and I hope Donovan can make HUD lead the way. (For more on Donovan, see the NY Times.)

(Donovan photo from the Huffington Post.
Highway platform image from Brownstoner.)


Anonymous said...

I hope that if and when they create a new enforcement arm of HUD, that they respect the legal rights of individuals. As opposed to the shakedown tactics HUD and FHA have used in the past, like they did to others like StateGoneCrazy.com. It happens not just at the state level but the federal level. Because the current HUD leadership is so incompetent, they think that they can trample people's Constituitional Rights if they even think someone looks like they might commit a violation. There is a real racket going on at HUD now, and its tenticles extend down through ACORN and ACORN's many shell organizations. Clean this current HUD leadership up. Get them out!

Manuel said...

Now that he has filled all spots, I have to say that im happy with almost all of his choices. I thing it's gonna be a interesting 4 years.