Biden Selects Nominee for FHA Commissioner, Plans to Appoint Appearing CFPB Director to HUD
The White House announced on Friday that President Joe Biden has selected a number of new candidates for positions within the administration, including for Assistant Secretary of Housing, the Federal Housing Commissioner and the appointment of the current Acting Director of the Consumer Association Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) for a position with the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
These nominations follow new actions by the FHA and HUD aimed at further mitigating the economic impact of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic on both renters and homeowners, with a series of provisions that will impact home equity in HECM -Program (Conversion Mortgage) and its borrowers.
Nominee FHA Commissioner
For the key position of FHA Commissioner, the President has selected housing attorney Julia Gordon, who currently serves as President of the National Community Stabilization Trust (NCST). NCST is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to neighborhood revitalization and affordable home ownership by promoting residential redevelopment in underserved markets.
At NCST, Gordon’s specialty is in federal home ownership, housing finance and community development policy, in addition to managing the programmatic work of the organization. Prior to NCST, Gordon was the Senior Director of Housing and Consumer Finance at the Think Tank Center for American Progress and the Head of the Single Family Policy Team at the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA).
Gordon previously served as Senior Policy Counsel at the Center for Responsible Lending and worked in legal aid, as well as litigation associate and pro bono coordinator at the law firm WilmerHale.
“Julia Gordon is a recognized policy expert on housing and the NRMLA strongly supports her appointment as FTA commissioner,” said Steve Irwin, president of the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association (NRMLA), when reached by RMD.
“Julia Gordon is the right person at the right time to lead the Federal Housing Administration,” said David M. Dworkin, President and CEO of the National Housing Conference (NHC) in a statement on Gordon’s nomination. “As the FTA commissioner, she would bring an exceptional level of leadership, integrity and experience to the job. She has a practical understanding of what communities need, how the mortgage business works, and why progressive housing must always be part of our nation’s economic strength and stability. “
Gordon’s previous perspectives on the reverse mortgage program are well documented, as in 2013 she specifically cited the “struggles” of the HECM program as an obstacle to the FHA’s financial condition. However, while at the Center for American Progress in 2015, Gordon praised the changes handed down. to the then HECM program in a congressional process as directionally positive for FHA and for reverse mortgage borrowers.
Gordon’s nomination comes when HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge recently discussed the need to bolster additional leadership positions at the Ministry, both at a March White House press conference and, more recently, at Congressional hearings related to the HUD Fiscal Year 2022 budget proposal If confirmed, Gordon will be the first full-time FHA commissioner since Dana Wade, the last FHA commissioner sustained under Donald Trump’s administration and has worked in the private sector ever since.
Uejio: from CFPB to HUD
Interestingly, on Friday, President Biden also nominated Dave Uejio – the current acting director of the CFPB – as assistant secretary for fair housing and equal opportunities at the HUD. Uejio, who served as interim head of the CFPB while full-time candidate Rohit Chopra awaits Senate approval, has served as a very active administrator in Chopra’s place, which was exactly what he promised when he first took office.
Acting CFPB Director Dave Uejio
During his tenure as acting director of the CFPB, Uejio has notified mortgage servicers, improved the bureau’s enforcement position, withdrew regulatory relief for financial companies, vowed to “monitor” the reverse mortgage market for potential servicing violations, took action against both forward and reverse – Mortgage lenders for what the Agency identified as “fraudulent” practices and has dedicated the Bureau to addressing issues that unduly affect people of skin color and disadvantaged groups.
Prior to joining CFPB and serving in a variety of roles before becoming Assistant Director in January, his government career stretched back to 2006 where he was a Presidential Management Fellow at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and in Human Resources has worked capacities at NIH, the Office of Personnel Management and the Office of the Secretary of Defense.
Uejio’s nomination for a post at the HUD could indicate that the administration is preparing for Chopra’s confirmation as full-time director of the CFPB. Chopra, who currently serves as the Federal Trade Commissioner, was recently held up over seemingly partisan concerns over the balance of power between Democrats and Republicans serving on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
Columbia University’s law professor and technology industry critic, Lina Khan, was recently re-elected as the new FTC commissioner and President Biden was appointed chair, possibly alleviating some of the government’s concerns about Chopra’s endorsement of the CFPB.