The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) was created to establish strong and sustainable communities of affordable housing for U.S. citizens. As the head of the agency, the Secretary of the HUD provides leadership to its workers and guidance in pursuit of its mission. Duties also include presidential cabinet meetings and public appearances.
Management of Staff
The HUD employs more than 10,000 workers. The secretary is the leader of the entire agency. Directly under the secretary is the deputy secretary and eight assistant secretaries. These positions, along with thousands of subordinate employees, are all responsible to the secretary. She can make employment decisions as needed, including the deletion or creation of positions within the agency. Homelessness, discrimination complaints and foreclosure assistance are only a few of the many responsibilities of the HUD. To adequately handle all of these issues, duties are delegated to agency department heads, who manage day-to-day operations and their individual staffs at the direction of the secretary.
Power of Appointment
The Constitution vests the HUD secretary with the power to make appointments to certain positions. The secretary is required to designate representatives from the agency to serve on various government boards. For example, nine appointments to the Federal Housing Administration Advisory Board are made -- and one appointment to the consumer affairs council. The secretary also makes appointments to at least 16 other government boards and commissions. These appointments are made at the sole discretion of the secretary and require no confirmation from any other party.
In addition to regulatory duties over the Department of Housing, Title III of the National Housing Act gives the secretary of the HUD regulatory duties over the Federal National Mortgage Association Charter Act and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation. In these roles, the secretary can approve programs to carry out initiatives, including the creation of middle- and low-income housing projects. The secretary is also responsible for making sure that all programs are in compliance with applicable housing regulations.
Outside the Walls
Outside of the Department of Housing, the secretary has duties as a member of many boards and commissions. As a member of the National Drug Policy Board and the Interagency Council, the secretary takes part in numerous meetings, planning sessions and legislative hearings. She is also a member of the president's cabinet and participates in cabinet-level meetings at the commander's discretion. Though the secretary is not a member of the legislature and has no voting power, she does make frequent presentations to lawmakers. She also makes various public appearances and has various speaking engagements throughout the year.
Erika Winston is a Washington, D.C.-based writer, with more than 15 years of writing experience. Her articles have appeared in such magazines as Imara, Corporate Colors E-zine and Enterprise Virginia. She holds a Juris Doctor degree from Regent University and a Masters in public policy from New England College.