President Donald Trump nominated Pamela Hughes Patenaude to be Deputy Secretary of Housing and Urban Development on Friday, and with praises like “consummate professional,” “expert,” and “ideal candidate” being thrown around, it’s obvious the industry has come out in large support.
Widely considered the real position of power at HUD, Patenaude’s confirmation as Deputy Secretary would see her serve alongside Dr. Ben Carson, who was confirmed as HUD Secretary in March.
Patenaude is the President and Founding Executive Director of the J. Ronald Terwilliger Foundation for America’s Families and has a long history in the housing industry. She previously served as Executive Vice President of the Urban Land Institute, Director of the Bipartisan Policy Center Housing Commission, the HUD Assistant Secretary for Community, Planning, and Development, Vice President of Manor Homes Builders, and as an advisor to two presidents: George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan. She also worked with the New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority on implementing a Section 8 rental assistance program.
According to Carson, it’s this wide-ranging and long resume that will serve her well in her new post.
“Pam’s extensive knowledge of housing issues and dedicated service to this Department under two previous administrations makes her an exceptional choice for the position of Deputy Secretary,” Carson said. “She will bring a wealth of experience and steady leadership to HUD in her new role as the Department’s chief operating officer. I look forward to working with her to achieve more efficient and effective housing policies that create jobs, strengthen communities, and ensure safe, affordable housing for all Americans.”
William E. Brown, President of the National Association of Realtors, joined Carson in applauding Patenaude’s nomination.
“Pam is an ideal candidate for the position,” Brown said. “She understands the issues that impact the industry and our Realtor members, and we look forward to continuing our work together with HUD and Pam upon her confirmation to ensure that owning a home remains accessible and affordable so that more individuals can realize their dream of homeownership. Pam’s extensive and strong background in real estate and housing will be an asset.”
Tim Rood, Chairman of The Collingwood Group, told MReport he was “thrilled” to hear of Patenaude’s nomination.
“She is a housing expert and a consummate professional,” Rood said. “Moreover, her experience working in the government, specifically at HUD, is a huge plus for an agency that has goals and ambitions for meaningful reform. "
Adding to the acclaim was Dr. Rick Roque, Managing Director at Menlo Financial, who told MReport that Petanaude was a “stellar choice” and praised the strides she’s made in expanding access to homeownership across the nation.
“She has extensive knowledge of housing issues, fair lending, and opening up home ownership to a wider audience of borrowers,” Roque said. “She also has extensive experience with community planning and development.”
He elaborated: “The greatest barrier to homeownership is lack of creativity in underwriting guidelines, which are too narrow compared to the dynamic nature of consumer borrower needs. The goal is affordable, middle-class housing, and she understands these issues.”
Roque and Brown both shared a similar sentiment: Petanaude should be confirmed swiftly so, as Roque put it, “she can work on the challenges facing lending and homeownership.”
Michael Cremata, Senior Counsel and Director of Compliance at ClosingCorp, called Patenaude the "smart choice," and noted that her mix of experience will help her in her role of regulating the industry.
"[Patenaude] clearly has significant experience in the housing industry, having worked in both the public sector (including two previous stints at HUD) as well as the private sector. This will likely help to alleviate some of the criticism Trump has taken for the relative lack of direct experience possessed by his appointment for Secretary, Ben Carson," said Cremata.