Adolfo Carrión, Jr. speaks at NYU Wagner’s Conversations in Public Service Breakfast

The Conversations in Public
Service (CPS)
breakfast held on Tuesday, October 19 at NYU Wagner featured one of the major players in
urban planning–the Bronx‘s own Adolfo Carrión, Jr.,
regional administrator of housing and urban development for New York and New
Jersey. Wagner students enjoyed an informative
discussion about the current state of urban communities and the importance of
smart planning in shaping our growing, and sometimes shrinking, U.S.

While Carrión was excited to return to New York this past June,
after serving as the nation’s first director of the White House Office of
Urban Affairs
and deputy assistant to President Obama, he expressed his
appreciation of the administration’s focus on urban issues and reemphasizing of
the “UD” in HUD, after years of being a low priority. Carrión believes that an
urban focus with a bottom-up approach is essential, as our nation’s population
continues to grow and urbanize and cities must be prepared to meet those

Carrión also spoke of the Obama administration‘s new Sustainable
Communities Planning Grant Program
administered through HUD. This innovative
grant program will disperse $150 million in funding through a competitive
application process, in an effort to improve the integration of housing and
transportation planning in urban areas. While the grant application process has
been criticized by some, the Obama administration and HUD view it as a positive
way to encourage cities to produce creative and effective

Furthermore, Carrión discussed the administration’s HUD-VA collaboration
geared toward ending veteran homelessness, which is part of the larger
administration-wide goal
of ending homelessness
in the U.S. Carrión acknowledged that these
challenges are not easy for policy makers, but reminded students of the
importance of setting goals in order to create comprehensive policy and chart

he next CPS breakfast at NYU Wagner will be held on
Tuesday, November 9, and features special guest Carol Thompson Cole,
president and CEO of Venture Philanthropy Partners (VPP).

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