By Tracey McCartney
National Fair Housing Advocate Online
WASHINGTON, Nov. 13, 2002) -- The Senate has confirmed Carolyn Peoples, President George W. Bush's nominee for Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity of the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
That post, which answers directly to HUD Secretary Mel Martinez, has been vacant since Bush took office in January 2001.
The Assistant Secretary is in charge of HUD programs related to that agency's responsibility to fight housing discrimination. Those programs include enforcement and administration of grants and other financial assistance to outside organizations that also combat discrimination.
Peoples is founder and owner of Jeremiah Housing Services, Inc., a nonprofit organization that provides referral and placement services to seniors seeking affordable and suitable housing. Prior to this, Peoples served as director of operations for the housing division of Catholic Charities from 1990 to 1999.
According to a White House press release, her experience in housing for the elderly spans over 20 years beginning in 1976 as administrator of St. Andrews House, an 180-unit senior housing and supportive services program jointly funded by the Presbytery of Baltimore, Maryland, Office on Aging and the Baltimore City Housing Authority. Peoples received a bachelors degree in finance and a masters degree in business administration from the University of Baltimore.
Peoples was a completely unknown quantity in fair-housing circles before her nomination, but she had received the support of the National Fair Housing Alliance, an association of private fair housing organizations nationwide, based on conversations with her.