Housing groups urge Senate to confirm HUD general counsel

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WASHINGTON — Nearly 30 housing groups are urging the Senate to move more quickly to confirm Paul Compton to be the new general counsel at the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

President Trump nominated the Alabama attorney nearly six months ago. It is crucial for HUD to have a general counsel in place to deal with the ongoing "disaster relief efforts" in Texas, Florida and the Caribbean, according to the signers of a Sept. 25 letter to Senate leaders.

"The aftermath of hurricanes Harvey and Irma require strong leadership from HUD. And the general counsel plays a critical role in creating and approving disaster relief programs and coordination between federal agencies," the joint letter said.

Compton, who would serve as the top lawyer for Secretary Ben Carson at HUD, is a partner in the Birmingham law firm of Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP.

He has served as general counsel to the Alabama Affordable Housing Association and is a member and former state chairman of the American Bar Association Forum on Affordable Housing and Community Development. He is familiar with the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program and the HOME program, which provides housing for low- and very low-income Americans.

Congress recently appropriated $7.4 billion to fund HUD's Community Development Block Grant disaster recovery programs. "His familiarity with HOME and CDBG make him a perfect candidate to serve as General Counsel," the letter said.

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