WASHINGTON – Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson is expected to announce his resignation Monday, according to people familiar with the matter, a decision that will deal a blow to the Bush administration's efforts to tackle the housing crisis, the Wall Street Journal reports.
The exact reasons for Mr. Jackson's decision are not known.
Earlier this month, two Democratic senators, Patty Murray of Washington and Christopher Dodd of Connecticut, sent a letter to President Bush urging him to request Mr. Jackson's resignation, arguing that accusations of wrongdoing had made him ineffective.
The department has scheduled an announcement for 10 a.m., the newspaper reports. Asked if Mr. Jackson was planning to resign, HUD spokeswoman DJ Nordquist said she was "not at liberty to say what the announcement is."
Mr. Jackson, a former top housing official in Texas, Washington, D.C., and Missouri, has consistently denied any improper behavior while leading HUD. Still, his poor relationship with Democrats has hurt the White House's efforts to broker deals in response to the housing crisis. For example, Democrats have criticized the way he handled public housing after Hurricane Katrina, an issue that has dogged him ever since.
HUD, usually out of the spotlight among the federal agencies, has been at the heart of the administration's attempts to ease problems for homeowners. Mr. Jackson has been the junior partner to Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson in that effort. At events, the HUD secretary generally stressed the human cost of the nation's housing-induced financial woes, while Mr. Paulson handled the technical details.