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WASHINGTON, DC-News has come forth that the US Department of Housing and Urban Development is in for a change at the top. Mel Martinez has revealed his intention to resign from his presidential-appointed cabinet post as HUD secretary to pursue the senate seat being vacated by Sen. Bob Graham in his home state of Florida. His resignation goes into effect at Noon on Friday, December 15. “Together, we have expanded homeownership opportunities to more Americans and helped countless others find affordable housing in the communities of their choice,” Martinez says in a statement officially announcing his impending departure.

Among the most recent accomplishments under Martinez’s reign is the institution of a significant change in the awarding of grants under the decade-old Hope VI Revitalization and Demolition program. Now public housing authorities will be awarded points according to the number of units it made available through previous Hope VI grants, a move designed to encourage PHAs to make the designated units available in a more timely fashion.

Department deputy secretary Alphonso Jackson–who is the favorite to replace Martinez–will step in as the interim secretary upon Martinez’s departure.

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