HUD Official Who Planned Eric Trump’s Wedding Just Kicked Off a Monthlong Publicity Stunt

Lynne Patton is moving into New York City public housing for a month.

J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.

After saying that the government shutdown delayed her plans, Department of Housing and Urban Development Regional Administrator Lynne Patton is moving into New York City’s public housing for one month. Patton, who once organized events for members of the Trump family (including Eric Trump’s wedding), was appointed by HUD Secretary Ben Carson in 2017 to oversee the country’s largest public housing system despite having zero housing experience.

On Facebook, Patton said she would be living in four different properties with four different families. “I have my own inflatable bed, towel, portable chargers, and will be purchasing all groceries for the family for the duration, so not to generate any undue expenses.” 

The move comes on the heels of a historic deal between the New York City Housing Authority and HUD. In the coming weeks, HUD will be selecting a federal monitor who will report directly to HUD but be paid by the city to oversee the ailing public housing system. New York needs a whopping $32 billion in capital repairs to fix the buildings that house more than 400,000 residents. The NYCHA was subjected to a federal investigation after several scandals, including residents living without heat for years and reports that children were exposed to lead paint

Patton’s first stop on her public housing tour is the Patterson Houses in the South Bronx. Residents and Patton complained that the NYCHA was taking steps to clean up the property simply because of the high-profile visit. “As I anticipated and declared in countless interviews leading up to my move-in,” she wrote on Facebook, “NYCHA is making immediate repairs on the ground (as they do whenever I come to visit one of their properties—lobbies are cleaned, trash is picked up, elevators work, etc).”

“This is actually the cleanest I’ve seen it in a while. There’s usually garbage all over,” one resident told the New York Post.

So far, Patton has posted videos of herself joining residents in a fitness class and preparing the tub for a shower.

Patton says she wants her stay to improve the lives of NYCHA residents, but some of the people living in the dilapidated buildings don’t have much hope—or even know who she is. “Who the hell is Lynne Patton?” Carline Campbell, a Patterson Houses resident, told the New York Daily News. “Anything from Trump I don’t trust. I don’t think she wants to help.”

IT'S NOT THAT WE'RE SCREWED WITHOUT TRUMP:

"It's that we're screwed with or without him if we can't show the public that what we do matters for the long term," writes Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein as she kicks off our drive to raise $350,000 in donations from readers by July 17.

This is a big one for us. It's our first time asking for an outpouring of support since screams of FAKE NEWS and so much of what Trump stood for made everything we do so visceral. Like most newsrooms, we face incredibly hard budget realities, and it's unnerving needing to raise big money when traffic is down.

So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

payment methods

IT'S NOT THAT WE'RE SCREWED WITHOUT TRUMP:

"It's that we're screwed with or without him if we can't show the public that what we do matters for the long term," writes Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein as she kicks off our drive to raise $350,000 in donations from readers by July 17.

This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate