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Judging 50 Years of HUD Policies

As the housing agency celebrates its golden anniversary, Secretary Julian Castro acknowledges it has failed on housing integration.
HUD Secretary Julian Castro
HUD Secretary Julian CastroREUTERS/Gary Cameron

The Watts riots broke out on August 11, 1965, one month before President Lyndon B. Johnson announced the formation of his new Cabinet agency, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). In his keynote speech to the Reimagining Cities Conference Wednesday in Austin, current HUD Secretary Julian Castro said that both events made itclear that the American City needed to be at the top of the national agenda.”

While the conference commemorated HUD’s 50th anniversary, Castro refrained from illustrating HUD as a successful enterprise. In fact, his speech was more a litany of confessions of failure. If LBJ were alive today, the president would have acknowledged progress, said Castro. But he would’ve also said, “We’re nowhere close to being done.”