Bush Chooses Steve Preston as the New HUD Secretary

By Anuradha Kher, Online News EditorWashington, D.C.–President George W. Bush announced this morning that he has chosen Steve Preston, the former head of the Small Business Administration (SBA), as the new secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), praising him as a skilled manager.“At SBA, Preston has demonstrated that he has a strong understanding of the role that the government can play in helping businesses succeed and build stronger communities,” Kieran P. Quinn, CMB, chairman of the Mortgage Bankers Association, said in response to the announcement.If the Senate approves, Preston will replace HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson, who resigned last month amid a criminal investigation and allegations of political favoritism. Today was Jackson’s last day on the job as he sat in the Roosevelt Room to hear Bush announce his successor.Preston is widely credited with correcting major problems at the SBA, and he has also been praised by the Democrats for his work. In making the announcement, Bush said, “I sought a consensus builder who has earned the respect of Republicans and Democrats, who can get things done. I found these qualities and much more in Steve Preston.”Preston thanked Bush and said, “When I joined your administration almost two years ago, it was because I believed so strongly in the vision of helping people reach their dreams of owning a business, owning a retirement portfolio and,  of course, owning a home. Our solutions must restore confidence in our markets while not erecting barriers to future entrepreneurs, investors and home buyers.” “Preston will have a number of important projects to complete at HUD.  We look forward to working with him on efforts to stabilize the housing market and help at-risk borrowers. With a short period of time remaining and a lot of work to be done, I hope the Senate will confirm Preston quickly.”