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Alphonso Jackson sworn in as HUD secretary: Pledges to focus on homeownership, affordable housing and management reformMortgagePress.comHUD,Alphonso Jackson On April 1, Alphonso Jackson became the nation's highest-ranking housing official, a day after the United States Senate confirmed his nomination to be the 13th secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Jackson, who was sworn in at a private ceremony at the department, promised to continue building on the nation's record homeownership rate, increasing access to affordable housing for low-income families and improving sound management practices within HUD. "Boosting the number of homeowners, and minority homeowners in particular, is one of the president's domestic priorities, and a personal priority of mine," said Jackson. "As secretary, I will work tirelessly to promote this administration's compassionate agenda, believing that we best serve our neighbors in need by empowering them to pursue their dreams." Mortgage industry trade groups hailed Jackson's confirmation. "We applaud the Senate confirmation of Alphonso Jackson to serve as Secretary of HUD," said Robert M. Couch, CMB, chairman of the Mortgage Bankers Association. "MBA and its 2,700 member companies look forward to continue working closely with Secretary Jackson on a number of housing and real estate finance issues and initiatives." The National Association of Mortgage Brokers also voiced support for Jackson's confirmation. "Secretary Jackson brings extensive knowledge and experience to his new post and the mortgage broker community looks forward to working with him now and in the future," said NAMB President A.W. Pickel III, CMC. For nearly three years, Jackson served as HUD's Deputy Secretary, managing the day-to-day operations of a department with 9,300 employees and an annual budget of $32 billion. Jackson has extensive housing, finance and management experience, having directed public housing authorities in St. Louis, Washington, D.C. and Dallas. Jackson also served as chairman of two redevelopment agencies in Washington, D.C. and St. Louis. Under his leadership, the Dallas Housing Authority received the highest ranking HUD has awarded to any big city public housing agency, consistently scoring 94 on a 100-point management scale to measure the performance of local housing authorities. For a more information, visit www.hud.gov.