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Acting Secretary of Housing & Development Roy A. Bernardi
On April 19, 2008, Roy A. Bernardi became Acting Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Prior to that, Mr. Bernardi served as Deputy Secretary, charged with managing HUD's day-to-day operations, a nearly $38 billion annual operating budget and the agency's 8500 employees.
Mr. Bernardi formerly served as HUD's Assistant Secretary of Community Planning and Development (CPD) helping to develop viable communities by promoting integrated solutions to the challenges facing the nation's cities, urban counties and rural communities. These strategies are a tremendous benefit to local communities seeking to create decent housing, suitable living conditions and economic opportunities for low- and moderate-income persons. To do this, Mr. Bernardi promoted a deeper sense of partnership among all levels of government, the private sector and non-profit organizations.
President Bush nominated Bernardi as Deputy Secretary on June 24, 2004. Bernardi was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on November 21, 2004.
Prior to joining the Bush Administration, Mr. Bernardi was the 51st Mayor of the City of Syracuse, New York and is still affectionately referred to as "Mayor Bernardi" at the Department.
As Syracuse's mayor, Mr. Bernardi overhauled municipal financial services, eliminated duplicative departmental functions and streamlined governmental operations resulting in significant annual budget savings. Maintaining his commitment to right-sizing municipal government and eliminating intergovernmental duplication, Mayor Bernardi became the first Mayor in the Northeastern United States to contractually merge a large city police department with those of suburban small villages, allowing for increased services and significant cost savings.
A promoter of urban neighborhoods, Mayor Bernardi implemented a number of new initiatives to improve the quality of life within Syracuse. Along with the men and women of the Syracuse Police Department, Mayor Bernardi worked to bring the number of violent crimes to their lowest levels in the 1990s. With the Department of Parks, Recreation and Youth Programs, Mayor Bernardi expanded opportunities for young people by initiating after-school tutoring programs, offering new recreational activities and summer camps, and equipping neighborhood community centers with computers.To reduce slum and blight in Syracuse, Mayor Bernardi launched a nationally-recognized slum landlord program that used aggressive code enforcement to target chronic offenders and implemented a first-of-its kind landlord training and assistance program to clean-up neighborhood eyesores.
Mayor Bernardi aggressively courted new employers to the Greater Syracuse area. Downtown Syracuse witnessed significant revitalization under the pro-growth policies of the Bernardi Administration by successful attracting major employees to downtown Syracuse and reopening many of the once shuttered storefronts throughout the center city.
Prior to his public service Mayor Bernardi was a public high school Spanish teacher and guidance counselor. He and his wife, Alice, are the parents of two children, Dante and Bianca.
The Mayor is the 1996 recipient of the Joseph J. Pietrafesa Memorial Award sponsored by the Columbus Monument Association and was Temple Adath Yeshurun's Citizen of the Year for 1997. He is the 1994 recipient of the Columbus Award for Achievement by the National Italian American Bar Association. He has been inducted into the Syracuse University chapter of the Golden Key Honor Society, and, along with his wife Alice, has been honored by the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Central New York.
Mayor Bernardi is the past President of the New York State Conference of Mayors.