By Catherine Austin Fitts
“HUD is Being Run as a Criminal Enterprise”
In 2000, three and a half years after Andrew Cuomo became Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”), I met with a senior staff assistant to the Chairman of one of the appropriations committees for HUD. When I asked what was going on at HUD, the staff assistant said, “HUD is being run as a criminal enterprise.” I replied, “I don’t disagree.”
Cuomo’s reign at HUD was not the first time that HUD had been run by a New Yorker with ambitions for higher office. From 1989-1990, I served as Assistant Secretary of Housing and Federal Housing Commissioner in the first Bush Administration and watched Jack Kemp, a former Congressman from Buffalo, try to balance the politics of getting ahead with the needs of citizens and communities at a federal agency in which special interests had traditionally had the upper hand.
At the beginning of the Clinton Administration in 1993, Kemp was replaced by former San Antonio mayor, Henry Cisneros, who recruited a new team of HUD political appointees, including Andrew Cuomo as Assistant Secretary of Community Planning and Development.