The Trump administration has tapped their former event planner, and the administrator of Eric Trump's charity, to head the Department of Housing and Urban Development's New York and New Jersey region, despite the fact that she has no experience in federal housing policy.
The Daily News reports that Lynne Patton, who the tabloid describes as a "Trump loyalist," has been put in charge of running the HUD region that's the largest in the country, a job that includes being in charge of giving federal funds to NYCHA. Patton had been a White House liaison at HUD since February, according to the News, but otherwise has no experience in the sector.
Patton, who listed her job on LinkedIn as the event planner for the Trump family since 2009, wrote that the job entailed organizing celebrity golf tournaments and other upscale events. Patton also appears to have overstated her scholastic achievements, listing a law degree from Quinnipiac and an enrollment in Yale. Quinnipiac's registrar told the News that Patton only attended law school there for two semesters, and HUD officials told the News they weren't sure what Yale was doing on her resume.
In addition to working as an event planner for Trump celebrity golf tournaments, Patton also planned Eric Trump's wedding, and helped run the now under investigation Eric Trump Foundation from 2011 to January of 2017.
The appointment of an inexperienced Trump loyalist could spell trouble for NYCHA, which was already facing threats under the proposed Trump budget for 2018. That budget would reduce federal money given to NYCHA for capital repairs from $300 million to $100 million, according to a City Limits report that examined the housing agency's attempts to right itself before the Trump administration began.
Proposed rules from HUD, run by the similarly inexperienced Ben Carson, suggested raising tenant rent contributions from 30 percent of tenant income to 35 percent, which would come out to about $1,000 per year for families in NYCHA apartments whose average income is $24,336 per year. NYCHA head Shola Olatoye called the proposed 2018 budget "a disaster budget for us."