WASHINGTON, April 13 (UPI) -- The outgoing U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development is getting a tepid farewell from critics who say he misread the growing housing slump.
The Washington Post reported Sunday that Secretary Alphonso Jackson came under fire in recent months for repeatedly dismissed the developing downturn as a short-turn correction in the market and continuing to push legislation that would make it easier for lenders to make risky mortgage loans.
The newspaper pointed out congressional testimony last year from the HUD inspector general who warned that more oversight of the agency's priorities was needed. Sen. Kit Bond, R-Mo., said at a recent hearing that the policies were putting people into homes they couldn't afford.
A HUD spokesman defended the department's policies on Federal Housing Authority loans and said Jackson continued to be a staunch believer in the vitality of the U.S. housing market.