(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Chairman of the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) Appropriations Subcommittee, issued the following statement after President Bush named Small Business Administrator Steve Preston to take over as head of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) – the federal government's housing agency. Murray's THUD Subcommittee oversees all HUD funding.
Murray was a leading critic of outgoing HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson and called for his resignation 10 days prior to his announcement that he would step down.
"The next HUD Secretary will step into a troubled agency at a troubling time. With the housing crisis worsening – and Americans losing confidence in government – we need dynamic leadership at HUD. The next HUD Secretary will have to be ready to work aggressively with the lending community to address the housing crisis – and to end the neglect of low-income tenants and struggling homeowners.
"We need quick, decisive action to address the housing crisis, not someone who is going to run out the clock on the Bush administration. In the wake of Secretary Jackson's tenure, we need someone whose ethical standards are unassailable. And, above all, we need a Secretary who won't forget HUD’s mission to keep a roof over the heads of the most vulnerable Americans.
"I look forward to meeting Mr. Preston and having a candid discussion on his plans to restore the tarnished reputation of HUD and meet the needs of the people and communities it serves."