Tuesday, April 01, 2008

I'm Sure These Events Are Unrelated

Don't mess with Philly.

U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson tendered his resignation yesterday, an abrupt move that caps a tenure dogged by claims of favoritism, including an allegation that he sought to punish the Philadelphia Housing Authority because of its dispute with music legend Kenny Gamble.

Also yesterday, PHA announced that HUD had given the local housing agency a one-year reprieve that would spare its losing $40 million in federal funds. The offer was contained in a letter sent Thursday and made public yesterday.

PHA Executive Director Carl Greene Jr. said the reprieve was a positive step that spares the agency from having to lay off 186 employees. PHA was set to lose special HUD funding status at 12:01 a.m. today. "It gives us a one-year transition period to exit the program as opposed to [today] being Black Tuesday," Greene said.