The New York Daily News reports that Lynne Patton has been appointed to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Region II, which covers New York and New Jersey. Like HUD secretary Ben Carson, Patton has no experience in housing policy. She does, however, have a lot of experience working for the Trump family.
According to her Linkedin profile, Patton got her start at the Trump Organization in 2009, planning “upscale events and celebrity golf tournaments.” She was then promoted to “senior assistant” to Donald Jr., Ivanka, and Eric, with responsibilities such as “serving as primary family liaison & handling all calendar appointments, scheduling, media appearances, travel, expenses, purchases, event coordination, contact/engagements, as well as home & business responsibilities.” (She also did Eric’s 2014 wedding.) At the same time, she served as vice-president of the Eric Trump Foundation, mostly handling fundraising and charity events. The foundation is now under investigation for allegedly funneling money raised at those events to the Trump Organization.
In 2015, Patton became a “senior advisor and family liaison” on President Trump’s campaign, a role that included making a video denying that Trump is a bigot. After his inauguration, Trump made her HUD’s White House liaison.
As Region II’s top administrator, Patton will manage Section 8 vouchers, various grant programs, and billions of dollars in federal funding for public housing authorities, including NYCHA (which is currently falling apart). Given her background, she’ll be facing a steep learning curve, but, as her new boss recently told his employees, “You can’t overload the human brain. So, we need to focus a little less on what we can’t do and a little more on what we can do.”