Thomas M. Zuniga, D.C. housing official and consultant

December 10, 2012

Thomas M. Zuniga, 65, who resigned under pressure from his post as executive director of the D.C Housing Finance Agency in 1985, and who later became a community development consultant, died Nov. 18 at a hospital in Miami. He had heart disease, his daughter Stephanie Zuniga said.

Mr. Zuniga had worked in real estate and housing before becoming head of the D.C. Housing Finance Agency in 1983. He resigned two years later after an FBI investigation alleged that he had charged $2,500 in personal expenses to an agency credit card.

In a separate case, Mr. Zuniga pleaded guilty in 1987 to paying thousands of dollars to a redevelopment authority official in Massachusetts in the early 1980s in return for favorable treatment on consulting contracts. Mr. Zuniga received a one-year suspended sentence and was ordered to perform 200 hours of community service.

Mr. Zuniga later worked for the Department of Housing and Urban Development from 1998 to 2000 before moving to Miami, where he became managing director of a management consulting company specializing in community development.

Thomas Mark Zuniga was born in Punta Gorda, British Hounduras, which is now Belize. He received a bachelor’s degree in economics in 1969 and a master’s degree in finance and marketing, from Pace University in New York. He also received a master’s degree in political science in the 1970s from Columbia University.

He worked for the National Housing Partnership in Washington in the late 1970s and, in the 1990s, was an official with the Pennsylvania Community Development and Finance Corp.

Mr. Zuniga received an award this year from the Florida-based Housing and Education Alliance for his work in community development. He was also named to the board of the National Caucus & Center on Black Aged.

His marriages to Keryl Thompson, Karen Williamson and Andrea Wright ended in divorce.

Survivors include two children from his first marriage, Mark McCord of Columbia, S.C., and Malyssa Munroe of Atlanta; a daughter from his second marriage, Stephanie Zuniga of Sydney; a son from his third marriage, John St. Clair Zuniga of Miami; and a son from another relationship, Jamel Rowe of Glenarden; three sisters; two brothers; and five grandchildren.

— Matt Schudel