Beth Van Duyne is leaving the Irving mayor's office to become a U.S. Housing and Urban Development regional administrator overseeing Texas and its four surrounding states.
Van Duyne, whose new post became official Monday, had been in talks since November with President Donald Trump’s administration and other Republicans about a federal government role. She said much of HUD’s mission overlaps with work that mayors do. She added that helping the most vulnerable is what attracted her to being mayor, a job she’s held since 2011.
“I strongly believe that government should be limited and that it should be focused on helping those that need it the most,” Van Duyne said Monday from her HUD office in downtown Fort Worth.
For more than a decade on the Irving City Council, Van Duyne made a name for herself with her vocal stances on illegal immigration, government spending and accountability, and Sharia. Van Duyne met with her HUD staff Monday morning. She told The Texas Tribune she’s “still absorbing as much information as possible” about the department’s numerous programs and mission.
“It’s a much larger scope than just one city,” she said.
She joins the department months after the Trump administration spurred angst among state and local housing departments and affordability advocates by considering $6 billion in cuts to HUD’s budget.
Van Duyne believes the administration is still reviewing its plans for the department.
“Just like being a mayor, you work with what you have, and we always have to realize that funds are not unlimited,” she said.
Van Duyne's résumé includes stints as an executive with business management and consulting firm Akili and previously ran her own marketing company. She was first elected to the Irving City Council in 2004. Her second term as mayor ends next week. Former council member Rick Stopfer was elected as her successor Saturday.
Van Duyne said that she’s met and talked with HUD Secretary Ben Carson numerous times and loves his energy.
“He’s so optimistic,” she said.
Van Duyne said that one of the things that helped prepare her for the job was Irving’s recent completion of a new comprehensive development plan.
“There's going to be a lot of opportunities to meet elected officials and hear their vision of what they want and figure out how we can partner to achieve,” she said.