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The San Diego County Young Democrats have announced that their political director has accepted a position with Governor Jerry Brown’s administration. Colin Parent took over as Director of External Affairs for the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) on July 5. The position entails marketing programs offered by the department and acting as a liason to external stakeholders and government entities. He will also direct media relations at the Department.

“Parent will maintain his volunteer position on the board of the Young Democrats, and continue to advise the organization on endorsements, fundraising, and campaign activities,” according to a press release by the group.

The HCD’s earliest predecessor was formed in the wake of the State Tenement Housing Act in 1909, which “authorized local building officials to enforce minimum sanitation and safety standards in the state’s urban tenements,” per the Department’s official history. HCD in its current form was introduced in 1965, its mission expanded to ensure adequate housing quality, construction standards, and to “serve as a catalyst in seeking solutions to California’s housing and community development problems through technical assistance, advice, research and dissemination of information to citizens, industry, and government entities.”

A large component of the Department’s work today is providing funding for various housing projects including rural development assistance, housing rehabilitation, and transitional homeless shelters. HCD received the lion’s share of 2002’s Proposition 46 and 2006 Proposition 1C funds, which authorized $2.1 billion and $2.5 billion in state bonds for housing projects respectively. The Department also manages federal housing dollars, such as Housing Choice Vouchers (Section 8).

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