Bold Move: HUD Secretary to Manage Recovery Process After Sandy in NY & NJ


In an interesting departure from tradition, the HUD Secretary will manage the long-term recovery in NY and NJ. See: Obama Visits Storm-Ravaged Areas in New York, Nov. 15.

President Obama said Thursday that he was assigning Shaun Donovan, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development and a former New York City official, to oversee the New York area’s longterm recovery from Hurricane Sandy.

The press release from the White House on Nov. 15 can be accessed here.

See also CQ on Nov. 15th: “HUD Secretary to Head Long-Term Sandy Recovery. ” This service is copyrighted so I cannot link it.  A few excerpts:

… Obama announced Thursday that Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun  onovan will head federal efforts to help state government develop and implement their long-term redevelopment
plans after superstorm Sandy.

Obama said he wanted one person at the federal level in charge of the rebuilding process.  Shaun Donovan … used to be the head of the New York Housing Authority – so he knows a little bit about New York and building….”

Noc. 17th. Donovan may be responsible for all of the north east states with disaster declarations.  It is not clear yet, but there an an article from the L.A. Times on the topic.

Nove. 15: another take today by BusinessWeek.

This is an option that has been discussed in Washington for at least two years that I know of.  It will be an interesting change to watch.  How will the HUD  Secretary relate to the Federal Coordinating Officer who is the lead officials for FEMA?
If anyone out there has more details, please write in.

4 thoughts on “Bold Move: HUD Secretary to Manage Recovery Process After Sandy in NY & NJ

  1. This approach is contained in the National Disaster Recovery Framework approved last year and is actually quite appropriate. From my viewpoint and many others involved in disaster management, it makes sense to designate the Federal agency with either the funding (housing in this case) stream in the lead for recovery; as noted in the first post, NY has some complex housing rules and HUD can provide community block grants to assist with this effort. It should also be pointed out that a Cabinet-level Secretary comes with a bit more clout to discuss issues with both the affected State politico’s and Washington, DC. As recoverydiva points out, there are still unresolved issues with relationship between FCO and FDRC but in this case, I continue to believe it has more to do with which agency has the existing authority and funding to initially pursue the recovery effort. This is a smart move and Secretary Donavan will have all the other federal agencies and departments available to assist him in this effort IAW existing statute and funding streams.

  2. I think it is a rather smart move. This is the recovery of a densely populated area with a lot of complex housing rules and relationships that also currently has many people out of a home. Putting someone who has worked with the area and housing issues I think it is good. There is no doubt that FEMA will still be involved in some fashion, but they are not a long term housing organization or creator.

  3. From Bill Cumming:


    And Fugate already out of his depth. It would be of interest to know how many FEMA personnel involved in LTR should now be detailed to HUD?

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