Barack Obama's Letter to John Gage regarding the Department of Housing and Urban Development

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Letter to John Gage regarding the Department of Housing and Urban Development
by Barack Obama
20 October 2008.
John Gage

National President
American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO
80 F Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001

Dear President Gage,

I am writing to present a few thoughts on my vision for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

The Department's mission – to promote affordable quality housing and community development available to all without discrimination – is critical to the well-being of millions of working families. As we tackle the effects of the current fiscal crisis on Americans, HUD must be part of the solution.

I am committed to appointing a Secretary, Deputy and Assistant Secretaries who are committed to HUD's mission and capable of executing it. I know that the Department needs resources to successfully implement the expansion of programs required by the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008. I pledge to work with Congress to secure resources necessary to meet HUD's important mission.

Because of the fiscal mess left behind by the current Administration, we will need to look carefully at all departments and programs. We plan specifically to look at work that is being contracted out to ensure that it is fiscally responsible and effective. It is dishonest to claim real savings by reducing the number of HUD employees overseeing a program but increase the real cost of the program by transferring oversight to contractors. I pledge to reverse this poor management practice.

I look forward to working with HUD employees and their union representatives. We face challenging times. Together, we can provide solutions to our nation's financial and physical infrastructure problems.

Thank you, John, for everything you and your members do for America.

Sincerely,

[signature]

Barack Obama