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At a White House ceremony on May 23, President Obama formally nominated current HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan to be the next Director of the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro to be the next Secretary of HUD. These pending nominations had been widely reported in the press for several days before the White House announcement.
The transition of Secretary Donovan from HUD to OMB bodes well for low income housing policy. First having an OMB Director who understands the importance of housing will bring more attention to the housing needs of low income people to the White House inner circle. Second, OMB has clearance authority over all federal regulations. Advocates have been waiting for the final regulations for the National Housing Trust Fund and Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing for some time and hope that Secretary Donovan can speed them along when he moves to OMB.
Mr. Donovan will replace Sylvia Mathews Burwell at OMB; Ms. Burwell has been nominated to be the Secretary for Health and Human Services. Senate confirmation is required for OMB Director as well as for Cabinet Secretaries.