The nation’s top housing official praised Washington state Wednesday as a model for the nation, in a keynote address that was both a pep rally for affordable housing advocates and a reflection of the national presidential campaign.
Federal Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan spent most of his speech listing the accomplishments of housing advocates during the recession, including help for renters affected by foreclosure and homeless veterans. He said 3,600 families in Washington state have benefited so far from the state’s portion of the $25 billion national mortgage settlement. And he reminded the audience there are many reasons to keep working hard.
“In too many parts of the country, a child’s lifespan can be determined by their ZIP code,” Donovan said, quoting former King County executive and HUD deputy secretary Ron Sims. “That is simply wrong in the United States of America.”
Donovan ended his remarks by reprising those from President Obama‘s State of the Union, in a theme Obama’s campaign has continued. Donovan called for not settling for an economy where most people only get by, striving instead for one where “everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules.”
The HUD Secretary was introduced by Washington state Sen. Patty Murray, who thanked the housing advocates for working hard as the recession increased the need for their services.
Housing Washington 2012 held its conference at the Greater Tacoma Convention & Trade Center.