President Trump appointed family friend Lynne Patton on Wednesday to oversee New York’s federal housing programs, despite her clear lack of housing experience. Patton, who formerly arranged tournaments at Trump’s golf courses and planned Eric Trump’s wedding, will head up the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Region II, which includes New York and New Jersey, and will oversee the distribution of billions of taxpayer dollars. As reported by the Daily News, Patton’s relationship with the Trump family dates back to 2009 when she first began as their event planner.
Patton, who begins her job July 5, will oversee the payout of billions in cash to public housing authorities, like the New York City Housing Authority. She will also oversee tens of thousands of rental vouchers and block grants that fund senior citizen programs and housing inspections. And while last month she made an unexpected visit to the McKinley Houses in the Bronx, NYCHA Chairwoman Shola Olatoye said the agency staff who showed Patton around said she was “less interested in the actual infrastructure and more interested in an old clipping of the community center that was all glass and steel and now is struggling.”
Though Patton has no housing experience, she detailed on her LinkedIn profile that she was “responsible for organizing, executing and assisting with upscale events and celebrity golf tournaments.” She also helped run the Eric Trump Foundation as its former vice president, a charity that is now under investigation by state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. Last week, Forbes reported the charity shifted nearly $1.2 million into the Trump business by holding events at the President’s golf courses. Following Eric Trump’s departure on December 30, Patton left the charity in January.
Patton defended HUD Secretary Ben Carson last month after he claimed poverty was just a state of mind. And like Patton, Secretary Carson has no experience in housing, development or urban issues. Currently, almost 70 percent of NYCHA’s operational budget and 100 percent of its capital budget comes from HUD.
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