WASHINGTON - President-elect Barack Obama's nomination of Shaun Donovan to head the Department of Housing and Urban Development is a "brilliant choice" because state and local housing finance agencies will benefit from Donovan's vast knowledge of bond financing and his thick resume of working on affordable housing initiatives, advocates said yesterday.

Donovan, who would have to be formally nominated by Obama after he becomes president and confirmed by the Senate, left his position as chairman of the New York City Housing Development Corp. and commissioner of the city's Department of Housing Preservation and Development to work on the Obama campaign.

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