Nationally recognized affordable housing/community development expert served public for 38 years
WASHINGTON – January 21, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today announced that at the end of February, Ophelia Basgal is retiring from federal service after nearly 40 years of work to promote affordable housing and community development across the nation and throughout the Department’s Pacific/Hawaii region.
Appointed in 2010, Ms. Basgal served as HUD’s Regional Administrator for the states of Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, the Territory of Guam, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and American Samoa. She brought a national reputation to HUD as an expert on housing and community development issues having served 27 years as the executive director of the Housing Authority in the County of Alameda, California. She also served on the bipartisan Congressional Millennial Housing Commission and was a member of, and held leadership positions in, several national housing organizations. Prior to joining HUD, Ms. Basgal was Vice President of Community Relations for PG&E, one of the nation’s largest electric and gas utility company.
“I want to personally thank Ophelia for her deep dedication and commitment to the people and places HUD serves,” said HUD Secretary Julián Castro. “Her passion, savvy and interpersonal skills set her apart. She is the consummate public servant who brought her vast knowledge and passion to work every single day.”
“This is a bittersweet day for HUD. We’re losing an incomparable leader, one who we are going to miss very much,” added Mary McBride, HUD’s Assistant Deputy Secretary for Field Policy and Management. “It isn’t just Ophelia’s broad array of experiences, in politics and in business. It was also the fact that she just brings an unmatched level of energy and enthusiasm and commitment to every single thing that she does. It’s fair to say that Field Policy and Management could not have accomplished what we’ve accomplished without Ophelia.”
Reflecting on her retirement from public service, Ms. Basgal said, “Nearly 40 years ago, I found my passion and it was helping to create opportunities to improve communities. HUD was the perfect fit to help me fulfill that desire. I will always be grateful to HUD for providing me with the place to help others and to work alongside colleagues who were as committed and passionate about the mission.”
During her tenure at HUD, Ms. Basgal was particularly focused on the Obama Administration’s strategic plan to end homelessness, particularly among Veterans, by facilitating robust partnerships between federal agencies and state and local leaders. In addition, she reinforced a national movement to support place-based programs such the Strong Cities Strong Communities Initiativein Fresno, California; Promise Zones in Los Angeles and Sacramento; and a number of communities participating in HUD’s Choice Neighborhoods Initiative.
As HUD’s liaison with the City of San Francisco, Ms. Basgal worked to help transform severely distressed public housing in the City through the Department’s Rental Assistance Demonstrationresulting in one of the largest and most complex conversions in the country involving more than 1,000 housing units. Her background in the energy sector proved vital in the course of promoting energy efficiency in HUD-assisted housing.
Wayne Sauseda, the Deputy Regional Administrator, will serve as the acting Regional Administrator during this interim period.