Friday, October 05, 2007
A couple of weeks ago, John Greenan and I visited the Dallas Friday Group luncheon. This unique lunch group meets once a month for lunch and a guest speaker.
Alphonso Jackson, Secretary of the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) spoke the Friday we attended.
Mr. Jackson knows Dallas. He served for several years as the President and CEO for the Dallas Housing Authority, where he served with distinction and considerable professional acclaim.
After his election in 2000, President Bush named Jackson HUD's Deputy Secretary and Chief Operating Officer. Then, on March 31, 2004, the U.S. Senate unanimously confirmed Jackson as the nation's 13th Secretary of HUD.
One of Jackson's priorities as Secretary has been to promote programs and means for increasing home ownership in the nation.
I've found myself objecting to a number of HUD's funding policies, not because of the focus on home ownership, but because such programs have been funded by removing money previously reserved for the poorest of our citizens who cannot buy homes, but who remain in need of high-quality, affordable housing.
Still, it was interesting to hear the Secretary and to visit with him briefly over and after lunch.
We are grateful for HUD. We've been working with them in various capacities since 1996 here in Dallas. Today we have a number of housing grants that allow us to open new doors for better housing to the individualas and families with whom we work.
We are especially grateful for HUD's local expression, the Dallas Housing Authority. Ann Lott, DHA's current CEO, is a great partner.