November 30, 2000
Andrew Cuomo was sworn in as the 11th U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development after being unanimously confirmed by the Senate in January 1997.
Cuomo began reinventing HUD with a historic Management Reform Plan in 1997. The plan cracks down on waste, fraud and abuse, and addresses decades-old management problems at the department. Key reforms that have been implemented include: creation of an Enforcement Center headed by an FBI agent; the first comprehensive inspection of all housing subsidized or insured by HUD; creation of more efficient "back office" processing centers, along with storefront offices to serve the public; major improvements in HUD's financial systems; and creation of Community Builder employees.
In 1993 Cuomo came to HUD as an Assistant Secretary and was responsible for community and economic development, job creation, affordable housing, and homeless programs. He developed the Continuum of Care strategy to help homeless people become self-supporting. He founded Housing Enterprise for the Less Privileged (H.E.L.P.) in 1986, which grew to become the nation's largest private provider of transitional housing for the homeless.
After receiving a bachelor's degree from Fordham University in 1979 and a law degree from Albany Law School in 1982, Cuomo became campaign manager for his father, Mario M. Cuomo, in the elder Cuomo's 1982 race for Governor of New York. Andrew Cuomo spent a year-and accepted an annual salary of just $1-as a key aide to Governor Cuomo. He then practiced law as an Assistant District Attorney in Manhattan in 1984-85, and as a partner in a New York City law firm in 1985-88.