Bush Housing Secretary Steps Down

Jackson out after clashes with Congress, charges of favoritism
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 31, 2008 9:48 AM CDT
Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson, right, accompanied by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, speaks at a news conference on mortgages, Thursday, Dec. 6, 2007.    (AP Photo/Kevin Wolf)
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(Newser) – HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson resigned this morning, after a series of accusations of political favoritism. The departure marks a setback to the Bush administration's efforts to stem the housing crisis, the Wall Street Journal reports, as Jackson has been a central player on key initiatives. He cited family reasons in his brief announcement.

Jackson was Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson's wing man on a program to help homeowners avoid foreclosure, and spearheaded a plan to insure new loans for borrowers faced with negative equity. But Congress—targeting his department's poor performance after Katrina—recently began probing claims that he awarded contracts based on political affiliations, and even punished a housing authority for denying one to a crony. (Read more Bush administration stories.)