William Gilmartin


Bridging A Partisan Divide

Ep. 12 - Bill Gilmartin recounts the leaders who worked across the aisle to strengthen HUD and make every effort to help families with affordable housing. Over time, he has seen housing drop off the Congressional radar, lost in a dark cloud of partisanship that only seems to be growing.

Top Takeaway:

    • The lack of affordable housing due to escalating prices of housing in America today
    • The lack of housing bills being implemented by Congress
    • The importance of building government relationships through trust and reliability when looking to work in Washington

Listen to hear how Bill was able to drive negotiations and create relations between Congress and HUD.

"Everybody wants to hire someone with Capitol Hill experience who has seen how Congress works and has experienced the atmosphere of late-night battles. I think that's a valuable commodity." 

Bill retired in 2016 after 44 years in Washington in a variety of positions in and around the federal government and learned the importance of bridging a partisan divide. He served as Assistant Secretary for Congressional and Intergovernmental Relations at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) from 1993 to 1995. He had previously served as a Legislative Assistant in the same HUD office during the Carter Administration for 4 years. Before his nomination to be Assistant Secretary, Bill was Legislative Director for U.S. Representative Bob Traxler of Michigan, Chairman of the House VA-HUD Appropriations Subcommittee. He also worked as a lobbyist for colleges, local governments, and non-profit associations as Vice President with Jefferson Government Relations. He concluded his career with eight years at the National Association of Realtors, representing the more than one million-member organization on regulatory issues pending in the executive branch of the federal government.

Since retiring from Washington, he is working as a substitute teacher in the Gettysburg Area School District. He also serves on the Board of Commissioners of the Adams County Housing Authority.He details what must change and the heroes who are that are pushing to make affordable housing the priority it ought to be.


Hear the importance of building important and long-lasting relationships if working for the federal government in Washington is your goal.

Key Moments:

He shares his career journey from the congressional relations to the housing sector [2:57]

He talks about the Nixon moratorium period in the early 1970s [5:55]

How high prices of housing is leading to unavailability of affordable housing for the low-income population [9:40]

The major changes that have led affordable housing in the sorry state it is in today [11:31]

He explains his experience while working in the congressional relations, HUD, and the in-between [16:08]

He mentions some of the things he did to warrant his legacy and the impact of Henry Cisneros at HUD [18:30]

Congresspeople who are still committed to appropriation bills and doing people's business [20:41]

Why the future of affordable housing is uncertain considering the current housing climate [22:01]

The life lesson that he would pass to young people who would like to work in Washington [25:37]

National Association of Realtors

Poverty in Adams County

NAR Issue Summary

Chicago Tribune Article

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