Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Henry Cisneros a leading authority on expanding affordable housing opportunities for both renters and homebuyers during and after his service as President Clinton’s housing chief, will be the keynote speaker at the 13th annual Governor’s Housing Conference at the Baltimore Hilton on Friday, Sept. 27.
The theme of the conference is Building for the Future: Investing in People, Places and Communities.
Secretary Cisneros is co-chair of the Washington-based Bipartisan Policy Center’s Housing Commission, which aims to identify and reform the housing needs of an increasingly diverse American society by crafting a package of realistic and actionable policy recommendations.
The annual Governor’s Housing Conference is the largest and most comprehensive affordable housing forum in the state, convening housing advocates, community development leaders, housing authorities, homebuilders, developers, lenders and legislators to discuss solutions and opportunities for affordable homeownership and rental housing in Maryland. DHCD hosts the conference in partnership with the Homebuilders Association of Maryland.
During the conference, DHCD will announce winners of its annual Commitment to Excellence Awards. The annual roundtable discussion with some of the region’s top lawmakers is one of the popular conference events.
Secretary Cisneros is executive chairman of the CityView companies, which work with urban homebuilders to create homes priced within the range of average families. CityView is a partner in building more than 60 communities in 13 states, incorporating more than 7,000 homes with a home value of over $2 billion.
His community-building career began at the local level. After serving three terms as a city council member, in 1981, he became mayor of San Antonio, Texas, the first Hispanic-American mayor of a major U.S. city.
During his four terms as mayor, Secretary Cisneros helped rebuild the city’s economic base and spurred the creation of jobs through massive infrastructure and downtown improvements. In 1984, he was interviewed by the Democratic presidential nominee as a possible candidate for vice president of the United States and in 1986 was selected as the “Outstanding Mayor” in the nation by City and State Magazine.
As a member of President Clinton’s cabinet beginning in 1992, Secretary Cisneros has been credited with initiating the revitalization of many of the nation’s public housing developments and with formulating policies which contributed to achieving the nation’s highest ever homeownership rate.
After leaving HUD in 1997, he was president and chief operating officer of Univision Communications, the Spanish-language broadcaster. He currently serves on Univision’s board of directors.