Lourdes M. Castro Ramírez serves as the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, leading the Office of Public & Indian Housing at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. In this capacity, she manages a budget of more than $26 billion and leads a team of 1,300 professional employees nationwide, who oversee and support 4,000 public housing authorities and 566 Native American communities, to provide safe and quality affordable housing and create opportunities for resident self-sufficiency and improved quality of life for 3.2 million households.
Castro Ramírez’s career in affordable housing and community development began two decades ago in Ventura, California as a community planner. In that role, she organized resident leadership and community building initiatives in several low-income, rural and urban neighborhoods. From there, Castro Ramírez joined the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA) — first, as the Director for HACLA’s Jobs-Plus Demonstration and later as Director of HACLA’s Housing Choice Voucher program, assisting more than 50,000 low-income families.
In early 2009, Castro Ramirez was tapped to be the President and CEO for the San Antonio Housing Authority (SAHA). Managing an operating budget of $186 million, with real estate assets valued at more than $500 million, Castro Ramírez successfully directed a team of 525 employees to provide housing assistance to over 65,000 children, adults and senior citizens. Under her leadership, SAHA became known for its innovations in education, workforce development, affordable housing preservation and neighborhood revitalization.
Castro Ramírez received both her MA in Urban Planning and BA in Political Science and Chicano/Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). She also completed an executive finance course at Harvard Business School.
Castro Ramírez is married to Jorge Ramírez and together they have three children: Jorge, Nicolás, and Natalia. Jorge and Lourdes actively participate in raising awareness about childhood cancer by coordinating an annual Kick Cancer Soccer Camp in memory of their son Nicolás, who lost his battle to cancer in 2012 at the age of 11.