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Outgoing HUD Second-In-Command Had Clashes With Trump Administration, Including Over Puerto Rico Relief

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HUD Deputy Secretary Pamela Patenaude, whose resignation was announced in December, reportedly decided to leave the agency after a persistent series of disagreements over housing policy with other members of the Trump administration.

Outgoing HUD Second-In-Command Had Clashes With Trump Administration, Including Over Puerto Rico Relief
Pam Patenaude

Also, President Donald Trump's desire to block a round of disaster-recovery money from going to Puerto Rico caused Patendaude considerable consternation, the Washington Post reports, citing five anonymous sources with knowledge of the matter. 

Patenaude, who was in charge of the distribution of post-disaster funds for the commonwealth, eventually persuaded White House budget officials in December that the money had to be sent, since it had been appropriated for that purpose by Congress. 

"Pam Patenaude showed the most commitment to Puerto Rico of any of the public officials inside the Trump administration,” Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration Executive Director Carlos Mercader told the Post.

Before joining HUD, Patenaude was president of the J. Ronald Terwilliger Foundation for Housing America’s Families, a nonprofit organization, and served as HUD assistant secretary for Community, Planning and Development during the George W. Bush administration.

Patenaude was also former executive vice president of the Urban Land Institute and founding executive director of the ULI Terwilliger Center for Workforce Housing.

Patenaude isn't the only federal housing official to be on the way out.

Earlier this month, Michael Bright, executive vice president and acting president of Ginnie Mae, resigned abruptly from the government-owned corporation that is under HUD auspices and promotes homeownership. 

Last year, Trump nominated Bright to become president of Ginnie Mae, but now Bright is going to become CEO of Structured Finance Industry Group, a trade group, Politico reports.

Neal Rackleff, HUD assistant secretary of community planning and development, left the department in December. Rackleff returned to the law firm Locke Lord in Texas after 15 months with HUD.