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A blog about the economy and the Sacramento-area real estate market.

March 31, 2008
Nehemiah Corp. waves goodbye to Alphonso Jackson

The abrupt resignation this morning of Alphonso Jackson as U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development certainly inspired no regrets from Sacramento-based housing giant Nehemiah Corp. of America.

Nehemiah issued a somewhat terse statement a few minutes ago, hoping the next HUD chief will be more constructive about down payment assistance gifts. Nehemiah says the controversial program has helped 250,000 households buy homes across the past decade.

Jackson headed HUD at a time when a department subsidiary, The Federal Housing Administration, tried to ban the Nehemiah down payment assistance program.

Nehemiah sued HUD to overturn the ban and recently prevailed when a federal court ruled that HUD was out of line with the proposal.

Here is the statement from Nehemiah President and Chief Executive Officer Scott Syphax:

Secretary Jackson's resignation, announced today, provides HUD with an opportunity to constructively move closer to its mission of increasing access to housing void of discrimination.

Private down payment assistance programs such as the Nehemiah Program have been instrumental in carrying the HUD message and mission into the low and moderate income communities.

We look forward to working with another designee of the Administration, who will hopefully take a more constructive role in supporting programs that today, are the only option available to hundreds of thousands of Americans seeking home ownership.

It is incredible that in the end, Nehemiah bore the enormous costs of litigating a clearly unfair, biased and ultimately illegal rule that HUD tried to promulgate.

Nehemiah is delighted to welcome the opportunity to rebuild a stronger relationship with HUD under a new Secretary, revisiting the role down payment assistance plays in working toward the mutually shared goal of enabling working class Americans to move away from financial oppression and into their own homes.

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