The Department of Housing and Urban Development on Monday announced that Lynne Patton, a former aide to members of President Donald Trump’s family, will oversee federal housing programs in New York and New Jersey.
“Patton will be responsible for the Department’s programs and operations in the Region’s two states,” the department said in a statement. “Patton joins Region II from HUD’s Office of the Secretary where she served as Senior Advisor and Director of Public Engagement.”
Patton confirmed to the New York Times that she will serve as the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s regional administrator overseeing the department’s New York and New Jersey office.
“As always we do not get ahead of official announcements,” White House spokeswoman Kelly Love told TPM in an email. Love noted the position was department-appointed and not part of the White House’s purview.
Patton has no notable experience in housing or development policy.
After joining Trump’s administration, Patton worked at HUD as a senior adviser and director of public engagement for “several months” before Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson recommended her for the appointment, according to a report by the New York Times.
On the campaign trail in 2016, Patton was a staunch defender of then-candidate Trump. In May 2016, she pushed back against accusations of racism and misogyny levied against Trump’s campaign and insisted that the Trump family worked to elevate the careers of minority women.
Patton also spoke at the Republican National Convention and defended Trump’s personal use of funds from his charitable foundation, arguing that some of the money was in fact his, “no ifs, ands or ways about it.”
Before joining Trump’s administration, Patton served as vice president of the Eric Trump Foundation, which is currently the subject of an investigation by the New York attorney general’s office.
It's official: new HUD administrator for New York City is a former event planner with no experience in housing policy pic.twitter.com/HbVBINk67s
— J. David Goodman (@jdavidgoodman) June 26, 2017