Senate Banking Committee Considers Three HUD Nominations

The Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs recently met to consider three key HUD nominations. The nominations are Paul Compton, Jr., to general counsel; Anna Farias, to assistant secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity; and Neal Rackleff, to assistant secretary for Community Planning and Development.             

Mr. Compton is a partner in the Birmingham, Ala., law firm Bradley Arant Boult Cummings, LLP. According to the White House website, Mr. Compton has advised banks and other financial institutions about investing in affordable housing and community development projects. He is outside general counsel to the Alabama Affordable Housing Association and a member of the American Bar Association Forum on Affordable Housing and Community Development. According to HUD’s website, the Office of General Counsel (OGC) attorneys provide legal opinions, advice, and services regarding all HUD programs and activities. The OGC includes the Fair Housing Compliance Division and the Fair Housing Enforcement Division.

Ms. Farias is the chair of the Board of Regents at Texas Woman’s University. She held several roles at HUD between 2001 and 2008, including senior counsel to former HUD Secretary Mel Martinez, deputy assistant secretary for special initiatives, deputy assistant secretary for grant programs overseeing the Community Development Block Grant program, and director for the Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. Ms. Farias grew up in public housing in Crystal City, Texas, and later returned to be the executive director of the public housing agency there from 1993 to 2000.

Mr. Rackleff has served as the director of Houston's Housing and Community Development Department. According to a White House announcement, during his tenure Houston became the first major city to effectively end veteran homelessness while chronic homelessness declined more than 70 percent. Mr. Rackleff is a partner at the Locke Lord law firm, where he focuses on community and economic development, affordable housing, and inner-city revitalization.