HUD Deputy Secretary Position Remains Unfilled
While Dr. Ben Carson has been officially confirmed as the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), his Deputy Secretary has yet to be named.
Miriam Axel-Lute, editor of Shelterforce and associate director of the National Housing Institute comments on the lack to date of a Deputy Secretary at HUD.
Some housing advocates were counting on a capable deputy secretary to help Carson. Carson lacks experience running a government agency or working on housing policy issues, therefore his deputy could help shape the administration of the department.
On December 7, 2016, HousingWire shared a short list of potential Deputy HUD Secretaries that included:
- Pam Patenaude of the Terwilliger Foundation for Housing America’s Families
- Rick Lazio, a former Republican congressman who served as the deputy majority whip, assistant majority leader, and chair of the House Subcommittee on Housing and Community Opportunity, who was considered a moderate in his party.
- Brian Montgomery, who served as acting HUD secretary and assistant secretary for housing in the Obama administration, as well as numerous other extremely relevant government roles and on the board of NeighborWorks.
It is concerning that as of early March, no nomination had yet been made for deputy secretary or any of HUD’s assistant secretary positions.
“In fact, as far as 2nd-tier leadership goes, the administration has so far nominated only two deputy secretaries plus a deputy attorney general and two associate attorneys general across the whole federal government.
Many people are finding this foot-dragging ominous, in light of the declarations of presidential advisor Stephen Bannon at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) declaring the administration to be “at war with the administrative state” and admitting that the cabinet leaders had been “selected for a reason, and that is deconstruction.”
“By the time HUD has a deputy secretary, crucial conversations about topics such as Dodd-Frank and fair housing enforcement and data collection will be well underway—not to mention broader questions about what kind of nation we want to be. We would do well to not wait to see who, if anyone, fills those leadership roles before joining those conversations ourselves.”