On Saturday, former U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development  (HUD) Secretary Julián Castro announced his presidential bid at Plaza Guadalupe, an outdoor venue across from Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church, in San Antonio—a city he is the former mayor of and one that been the center of recent immigration debates.
"When my grandmother got here almost a hundred years ago, I'm sure she never could have imagined that just two generations later, one of her grandsons would be serving as a member of the United States Congress and the other would be standing with you here today to say these words: I am a candidate for President of the United States of America," Castro said.
While Secretary of HUD, Castro focused his efforts on stabilizing the post-Recession market; helping homeowners who lost their properties in Hurricane Sandy, floods, and other natural disasters; and giving public-housing residents access to high-speed internet through the ConnectHome program.
During Castro’s tenure, HUD also worked with the Department of Justice and 49 state attorneys general to protect homeowners from mortgage fraud during the financial crisis. The result was a $25 billion agreement in 2012 with the country’s five largest lenders, providing relief to millions of homeowners across the country.
During his time as HUD Secretary, Castro sat down with Five Star Institute  President and CEO Ed Delgado to discuss the industry's pressing issues, including the blight left by abandoned properties.
Delgado asked Castro to consider opening up a dialogue with the servicing industry to talk about vacant and abandoned properties.
“I have a decent perspective on what you’re talking about, because I used to be a city councilman and then the mayor (of San Antonio),” Castro told Delgado. “So we saw it not just from an individual perspective, but from the perspective that concerns neighborhood associations and community associations and folks that have to deal with the impact of vacant houses on their block, and what it does to everyone and not just the individual.”
Read more about Castro's initiatives at HUD: