WASHINGTON – Alphonso Jackson was sworn in April 1 as the 13th Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development at a private ceremony at the agency, a day after the U.S. Senate confirmed his nomination. Jackson succeeds former HUD Secretary Mel Martinez who served in the Cabinet position from 2001-2003. Prior to being nominated as Secretary, Jackson served for nearly three years as HUD’s Deputy Secretary, managing the day-to-day operations of the agency including its 9,300 employees and an annual budget of $32 billion. At the swearing-in ceremony, Jackson promised to continue building on the nation’s record homeownership rate, increasing access to affordable housing for low-income families, and improving sound management practices within HUD. Jackson’s confirmation for the position came a little more than one week after he announced HUD’s decision to pull its proposed RESPA reform rule. Prior to that decision, Sen. Wayne Allard (R-Colorado), a member of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs said he would not support Jackson’s nomination “at this time” until HUD withdrew the proposed reform.