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Obama appoints architect to head Housing and Urban Development

US President-elect Barack Obama announced on Saturday the appointment of architect Shaun Donovan as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development in his administration. The HUD are the primary federal official responsible for privately-owned multifamily housing. Delivering his weekly address Obama said: “We need to approach the old challenge of affordable housing with new energy, new ideas, and a new, efficient style of leadership. We need to understand that the old ways of looking at our cities just won’t do. That means promoting cities as the backbone of regional growth by not only solving the problems in our cities, but seizing the opportunities in our growing suburbs, exurbs, and metropolitan areas. No one knows this better than the outstanding public servant I am announcing today as our next Secretary of Housing and Urban Development -- Shaun Donovan.”

Appointed by Mayor Bloomberg as Commissioner of the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) in 2004 Donovan also studied public administration at the John F. Kennedy School of Government and architecture at the Graduate School of Design, Harvard. Donovan has a strong background in affordable and family housing having worked as managing director of Prudential Mortgage Company’s FHA lending and affordable housing investments, as consultant to the Millennial Housing Commission on strategies for increasing the production of multifamily housing and as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Multifamily Housing at the HUD.

The former Secretary at the HUD, Steve Preston, who was nominated by President George W Bush and was confirmed by the Senate in June this year, is a graduate of business from the University of Chicago who went on to work as Senior Vice President at Lehman Brothers.

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