February 6, 2012

Talking Housing in The Tarheel State

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Last week, I had the pleasure of traveling with Secretary Donovan to the beautiful state of North Carolina. Donovan had a number of events scheduled throughout the Raleigh-Durham area, beginning bright and early with an interview with one of Raleigh’s leading news stations, WRAL (link to video).

From there, we headed to the main event of the day, a press conference at Triangle Family Services (TFS), a housing counseling agency doing incredibly important work for North Carolinians every day.

Before speaking to the media, Donovan had the opportunity to drop in on a seminar being put on by TFS for families looking for a way to stay in their homes. “Having spent my life trying to help families facing similar situations,” Donovan told the assembled homeowners, “the truth is you have already taken the hardest step, and that’s the first time you reach out and ask for help.”

Later in the morning, we visited Raleigh’s newspaper of record, the News & Observer, for a meeting with editors and reporters covering real estate and housing and the result was a lively and substantive discussion about the President’s proposal to help families refinance.

Finally, that afternoon Secretary Donovan joined students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for a Town Hall discussion. Donovan spent over an hour answering questions from students on topics ranging from sustainability in our urban planning to the President’s job plan for recent graduates. He was even asked to weigh in on the age-old “Duke or Carolina” debate (don’t worry, he nailed that one).

Throughout the day, we were impressed time and time again with the “southern hospitality” of our hosts at these different events. Secretary Donovan and the HUD team is already looking forward to his next visit to the Tarheel state.

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