Shaun Donovan speaking at a Senate hearing
No matter who is in power, we are used to hacks spouting nonsense as heads of branches of government, and sometimes it is a shock to realize that there are smart people who understand what is going on running things. Like Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan, who recently spoke to the Urban Land Institute:
HUD can and will be a vehicle to advance sustainable growth in our metropolitan areas. Together, with the partnership of all of you, I know that we can make our vision of sustainability a reality for our communities and this nation.
"Let's be honest--HUD has become the Department of Subsidized Housing, and that must change. We've got to put the "UD" (urban development) back in HUD. At the outset, the design, location, and quality of housing have a dramatic effect on the quality of place . . .
"As we look at the patterns of foreclosure across the country today, it is no coincidence that most of the neighborhoods with the highest foreclosure rates are some of the least sustainable places in this nation. (This includes) both the newer suburban areas that are disconnected from transit options, as well as the older urban centers, where residents are disconnected from educational and employment opportunities. It is clear that there is a larger lesson to be learned from the current mortgage crisis about sustainable communities.