US Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Visits CORC

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By Louise Cobbett, SDI secretariat

The World Cup kicked off in fine style for the staff of Cape Town’s CORC office with a visit from the United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Shaun Donovan.

Secretary Donovan has had a long career in the field of urban development, serving as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Multifamily Housing in the Housing and Urban Development department during the transition from Clinton to George W. Bush. After which became Commissioner of the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development in 2004 and returned to the Housing and Urban Development department as part of the Obama cabinet in 2009.

Secretary Donovan grew up in New York City during the 60s and 70s, a time thought to be the ‘death of American cities’. He went on to note that American cities have “many of the same historical precedents that have led to issues of racial and economic segregation as South Africa. One of our interests in being here, is understanding – as we try to undo some of the legacy in the US –  [South Africa] is dealing with it, and I hope we can continue to have an exchange over these issues.”

A collection of community members from the ISN, the Backyarders, PPM and FEDUP met with the Secretary as they would be able to give the best answers to issues on exclusion, homelessness and lack of tenure.