HAC was fortunate to be visited by two Cabinet Secretaries and several members of Congress at the 2014 HAC Rural Housing Conference. During one of those visit, HUD Secretary Julián Castro sat down with HAC’s Executive Director Moises Loza to discuss HUD’s role in rural America, his passion for public service, and how he thinks HUD can better serve rural communities across the country.
Moises began the discussion by asking How is HUD working in Rural America and what should HUD’s role be in rural places?
Secretary Castro then shared his most poignant experience at HUD so far – visiting the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. He went on to discuss what HUD could do to address housing issues and challenges on Native American Lands.
The theme of the 2014 HAC Rural Housing Conference, Retool, Rebuild, Renew, emphasizes the need for housing organizations to train and engage the next generation of rural housing professionals to take over the field as many of the current practitioners transition towards retirement. While this topic was discussed at length in the opening plenary session, Moises asked Secretary Castro for his perspective on motivating young people to enter the afordable housing and public service fields.
Mr. Castro also spoke to the importance of a strong public housing infrastructure as a means of providing affordable housing in rural areas…
And expressed his support for the CDBG program as a vehicle for community and housing development in rural and urban areas.
More from the chat
In a surprising moment, Moises revealed that he had known the Secretary’s “activist” mother from his days in Texas, which lead to a conversation about what compelled Mr. Castro to seek a career in public service.
The Secretary reflects on how his experience as Mayor of San Antonio will help him at HUD.
Moises asked the Secretary what can and should be done about credit standards and their impact on homeownership.
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Secretary Castro on The Daily Show with John Stewart