Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Alphonso R. Jackson announced his resignation at a press conference Monday morning. The Secretary said he was stepping down in order to spend more time with his family.

The secretary is stepping down at a time when federal investigators are looking into contracting activities in the Department. Specifically they are looking at whether he had arranged for lucrative housing contracts to be given to friends in New Orleans and the Virgin Islands and that he had threatened to withdraw federal assistance from the Philadelphia Housing Authority after it refused to surrender a valuable property to a politically connected developer.

One of the agencies that Jackson oversees in the Federal Housing Administration which is playing a key role in the administration´┐Żs attempts to assist homeowners in the current foreclosure crisis.

Jackson will step down on April 18. He has been HUD secretary since 2004 and, before that, served as deputy secretary.