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The Week Ahead: Congress Examines Oversight of HUD and the FHA

On Thursday, January 11 at 9:00 a.m. Central, the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services will host a hearing titled, "Oversight of the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Federal Housing Administration."

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) was established in 1965 by the Department of Housing and Urban Development Act to serve as the principal federal agency responsible for programs concerned with the nation's housing needs, fair housing opportunities, and improvement and development of the nation's communities.

Congress passed and President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Department of Housing and Urban Development Act on August 10, 1965, as President Johnson called it "the single most important breakthrough" in federal housing policy since the 1920s.

The legislation expanded funding for existing federal housing programs, and added new programs to provide rent subsidies for the elderly and disabled; housing rehabilitation grants to poor homeowners; provisions for veterans to make very low down-payments to obtain mortgages; new authority for families qualifying for public housing to be placed in empty private housing (along with subsidies to landlords); and matching grants to localities for the construction of water and sewer facilities, construction of community centers in low-income areas, and urban beautification. On September 9, President Johnson signed legislation establishing the Department of Housing and Urban Development as a government entity.

On March 10, 2021, Marcia L. Fudge was sworn in as the 18th Secretary of HUD, a role which she still holds. Throughout her career, Fudge has worked to help low-income families, seniors, and communities across the country.

Secretary Fudge served as U.S. Representative for the 11th Congressional District of Ohio from 2008 to March 9, 2021. She was a member of several Congressional Caucuses and past Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus. As a Member of Congress, Secretary Fudge earned a reputation of tackling the unique challenges of her district by working with her Congressional delegation and across political ideologies.

In 1999, Secretary Fudge was elected the first female and first African American mayor of Warrensville Heights, Ohio, a position she held for two terms. As mayor of Warrensville Heights, Ohio, she adopted one of the first vacant and abandoned property ordinances in the state. She worked with local officials to develop a taskforce to protect against predatory lending and she secured the inclusion of property maintenance grants in the Warrensville Revitalization Action Plan. Additionally, she brought new residential development to the city and addressed the city’s growing foreclosure crisis through the formation of a local partnership that helped residents maintain the financial security needed to buy or keep a home. As a former mayor, Secretary Fudge has seen firsthand the need for economic development and affordable housing. She prioritized improving the City’s tax base and expanded opportunities for affordable housing.

Secretary Fudge is committed to making the dream of homeownership—and the security and wealth creation that comes with it—a reality for more Americans. Secretary Fudge’s career in public service began in the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office, rising to the rank of Director of Budget and Finance. She earned her bachelor’s degree in business from The Ohio State University and law degree from the Cleveland State University Cleveland-Marshall School of Law. She is a Past National President of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and a member of its Greater Cleveland Alumnae Chapter.

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) is a part of HUD that provides mortgage insurance on loans made by FHA-approved lenders. The FHA insures mortgages on single-family homes, multifamily properties, residential care facilities, and hospitals throughout the U.S. and its territories. FHA mortgage insurance protects lenders against losses. If a property owner defaults on their mortgage, the FHA pays a claim to the lender for the unpaid principal balance. Because lenders take on less risk, they are able to offer more mortgages to homebuyers.

Julia R. Gordon serves as the Assistant Secretary for Housing and Federal Housing Commissioner at HUD. Gordon was nominated for this role by President Joe Biden, and was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on May 12, 2022. Throughout her career, Gordon has been both a strong advocate for and hands-on practitioner working to achieve equal justice, fairness and equity in housing, and consumer protections.

As Assistant Secretary for Housing and Federal Housing Commissioner, Gordon is responsible for HUD’s policies, programs, and operations supporting the nation’s homebuyers, homeowners, renters, and communities. She is responsible for the Federal Housing Administration’s (FHA) Single Family, Multifamily and Healthcare mortgage insurance programs which currently serve more than 7.5 million homeowners, some 1.4 million renters, and approximately 4,000 healthcare facilities across the U.S. and its territories. In addition, Gordon is responsible for HUD’s Multifamily assisted housing portfolio which serves more than 1.2 million low-income residents, the administration of HUD’s housing counseling program, and the development and oversight of federal standards for the design and construction of manufactured homes.

Prior to joining HUD, Gordon was most recently President of the National Community Stabilization Trust (NCST), where she was a passionate advocate and leader for housing equality and neighborhood investment, launching multiple new initiatives supporting neighborhood stabilization and affordable housing. From 2012 through 2015, Gordon was a senior leader at the Center for American Progress where she led the Center’s work to address access to affordable homeownership and rental housing, and safe financial products and services.

In previous roles, including a leadership role the Federal Housing Finance Agency and at the Center for Responsible Lending, Gordon was instrumental in grassroots efforts to shape mortgage and housing finance laws, regulations, and programs to protect homeownership and family wealth, including the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act and the Making Home Affordable program. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Government from Harvard College, and her J.D. from Harvard Law School.

Click here for more information or to register for this event.

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About Author: Eric C. Peck

Eric C. Peck has 20-plus years’ experience covering the mortgage industry, he most recently served as Editor-in-Chief for The Mortgage Press and National Mortgage Professional Magazine. Peck graduated from the New York Institute of Technology where he received his B.A. in Communication Arts/Media. After graduating, he began his professional career with Videography Magazine before landing in the mortgage space. Peck has edited three published books and has served as Copy Editor for Entrepreneur.com.

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