The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has had a long history of scandal and controversy. During the 1980s, HUD became embroiled in accusations of playing favorites with developers and housing officials who had political connections with the Reagan administration. One example involved a housing project in Durham, North Carolina, that was given the go-ahead even though some HUD staffers had found hazardous waste near the site. The mayor of Durham at that time was a friend of HUD secretary, Samuel Pierce, who was called before Congress to testify in regards to the many claims of improper dealings by his department. Pierce refused to testify by citing the Fifth Amendment right to not incriminate himself.
(by Steve Benen, Carpetbagger Report)
The Office of Community Planning and Development (CPD), located within the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), administers a variety of grant programs to help low-income communities finance growth and development. CPD also provides assistance with shelters and services to aid homeless populations. CPD is composed of seven offices that target specific areas of development and community planning:
The Office of Community Planning & Development provides financial information on the distribution of its grants to states, cities and counties throughout the United States. Cumulative dollar totals are made available on five different types of grants: Community Development Block Grants (CDBG); HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME); American Dream Downpayment Initiative (ADDI); Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA); and Emergency Shelter Grants (ESG).
Some of the largest recipients among cities of CPD grants are: New York ($357 million); Los Angeles ($125 million); Chicago ($121 million); Philadelphia ($75 million); Houston ($49 million); Detroit ($48 million); Baltimore ($39 million); San Francisco ($38 million); and Cleveland ($32 million).
CPD Director in Thick of SF Housing Scandal
(by Lance Williams, San Francisco Chronicle)
Pamela Hughes Patenaude (April 2005 to June 2007)
Mercedes Márquez has served as assistant secretary for community planning and development in the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) since June 2009. The Office of Community Planning and Development is responsible for distributing grants to help low-income communities finance growth and development and to alleviate homelessness.
Susan D. Peppler was sworn in as the 14th Assistant Secretary for Community Planning and Development on June 27, 2008. A graduate of California State University San Bernardino, Peppler worked as a lobbyist for State Farm Insurance Company. She was director of housing for the Inland Empire Diviwsion of the League of California Citeis and chairwoman of the Redlands Redevelopment Agency. In 2003, she was elected to the city council of Redlands, California and served as the mayor of Redlands. Peppler served as Deputy Administrator for the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs for the U.S. General Services Administration before moving on to HUD.