Biden Appoints Julia Gordon as FHA Commissioner
The Biden administration has appointed Julia Gordon as the federal housing commissioner at the Department of Housing and Urban Development. As commissioner, Gordon would lead the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), oversees programs related to the private mortgage market, and oversees the Federal Housing Administration’s $ 400 billion insurance portfolio.
The appointment follows a meteoric week of federal political action that included the ouster of Federal Housing Finance Agency director Mark Calabria; the appointment of Sandra Thompson as temporary replacement for Calabria; and the appointment of David Uejio, Acting Director of Consumer Finance Protection Office, to serve as Assistant Secretary to HUD.
Gordon, a well-respected veteran of the housing industry, is currently the Chairman of the National Community Stabilization Trust, which facilitates the rehabilitation of residential properties in underserved markets. Gordon is an expert on federal policies related to homeownership, community development and the national housing finance system.
She led the FHFA Single Family Policy Team from 2011-2012, and most recently was a member of the FHFA and HUD Agency Review Team for the Biden administration.
David Dworkin, President of the National Housing Conference, applauded Gordon’s nomination. As the country moves into the post-pandemic period, housing policy will define how well the Homeowner Assistance Fund is executed, the options available to FHA mortgage holders to stay in their homes, and how to deal with borrowers. who can’t, he said.
âThere is no one in the United States who is more qualified for this job right now than Julia Gordon,â said Dworkin. “She understands better than anyone how important it is to maintain the stability of the neighborhood as well as the stability of the owner.”
Dworkin said Gordon faces a potentially daunting task if the Senate upholds his appointment. She would then need to convince the best and brightest in the private sector to come to FHA for a “fraction of what they do,” Dworkin said.
“The challenge will be to convince them that they can have an impact, that this is a once in a lifetime opportunity,” he said.
As FHA commissioner, Gordon could help make FHA loans more competitive in the market. Along with Department of Veterans Affairs borrowers, those who receive FHA funding often find that sellers and lenders are less interested in working with them.
Representatives of the housing industry also welcomed the news of Gordon’s appointment. Bob Broeksmit, President of the Mortgage Bankers Association, stressed that his previous experience at FHFA and NCST would provide him with a âone-stop-shopâ on housing market issues.
“We look forward to continuing to work with her, Secretary Marcia Fudge, and others at HUD and administration to ensure a strong FHA program that provides affordable housing opportunities, both rented and owned, for all Americans, while protecting taxpayers, âsays Broeksmit.
Broeksmit also stressed the need to continue modernization efforts at the FHA, which lags behind other federal housing agencies.
“We also look forward to working with the agency to complete the work needed to improve efficiency, instill certainty, and bring more lenders back to the FHA program.”
HUD Senior Manager Janet Golrick currently serves as FHA Interim Commissioner. Dana Wade, whom President Donald Trump appointed in early 2020, resigned when Biden took over the presidency in January 2021. Prior to Wade, Brian Montgomery served as commissioner from 2018 to 2020.