Former Mayor Julian Castro mentioned several times when he was being confirmed for Secretary of Housing and Urban Development about the fact that several of his relatives lived in public housing on San Antonio's west side.

  Now, Castro is taking the spirit of the San Antonio Housing Authority with him to DC.

  President Obama has nominated Lourdes Castro Ramirez, the President of the San Antonio Housing Authority, to become Castro's deputy at HUD, becoming Assistant Secretary of Public and Indian Housing.

  Castro Ramirez, who is not related to the former mayor, said she was 'humbled and honored' by the nomination.

  "I am devoted to the families and neighborhoods that we serve in San Antonio, to improve their quality of life and develop vibrant communities."

  Castro Ramirez has developed a reputation as one of the country's leading public housing leaders.  SAHA has taken the lead over the past several years in building energy efficient housing, and expanding the model of public housing to include non traditional buildings and homes.

  For years, SAHA has been committed to reforming the traditional 'housing project' concept, going so far as to bulldoze traditional public housing spaces like the Victoria Courts south of downtown.

  In San Antonio, public housing has frequently been included in newer full-rent developments.

  Castro Ramirez will remain at SAHA until her nomination is confirmed by the U.S. Senate.  Since the Senate just began its summer recess, that confirmation could be several months away.