Mayor's Office Press Release

Mayor Turner's Statement on the City of Houston's Housing and Community Development Department

September 21, 2021 -- Please attribute the following statement to Mayor Sylvester Turner.

"There is no charade. Comments made by the former Director of the City of Houston Housing and Community Development Department are puzzling, inflated, and wrong.

"HCDD issued a Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA). All the developers' projects for housing met the threshold determined by staff, which presented information to the Administration. The information was reviewed by the Chief of Staff, Economic Development Officer, Tom McCasland, and the Mayor.

"The final review also included the City Attorney, Chief of Staff, the Economic Development Officer, and the HCDD Director without the Mayor. They made the recommendation to move forward. McCasland indicated to the group and subsequently to the Mayor that a press release announcing the awardees would go out the next day, which was done today before the Housing Committee meeting. The HCDD Director raised no subsequent objection and did not do so in the final meeting. His only objection is that the Mayor did not go with his recommendation, which is perfectly within the Mayor's discretion.

"This was not an Request for Proposal (RFP). The Mayor made it very clear that it was a priority to place affordable housing projects throughout the City, including opportunity districts like District E, given the history between HUD and the City. It has been several years since the City placed an affordable housing development in District E.

"Given the issues surrounding the GLO, the former director did offer to resign last year. The Administration stood by him and has done everything possible to provide him with what he needed to manage under difficult circumstances.

However, the Administration has lost confidence in his leadership and abilities to manage the department in the City's best interest, and it is time to move on. We wish him the very best."