After many months, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) should soon have a Commissioner in place, which would allow the agency to better meet the needs of the many housing counseling clients who depend on FHA lending. This breakthrough came after months of advocacy by housing counseling agencies, advocates, and industry groups, that resulted in a deal being reached by Senate Republicans and Democrats that will allow the previously-stalled nomination of Brian Montgomery for Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Commissioner. The exact date for the vote is still being determined, but is likely to come after Congress’ Memorial Day recess.
NHRC had taken a lead in pushing Mr. Montgomery’s nomination and worked closely with Senate offices on both sides of the aisle to encourage a compromise to break the impasse on having a vote. Mr. Montgomery is widely expected to be confirmed once a vote is taken. NHRC circulated a sign-on letter urging Senate leadership from both parties to bring the nomination up for a vote as soon as possible. That letter was signed by 184 supporters, including 51 national organizations, trade groups, and HUD Intermediaries, and 133 statewide and local counseling agencies and other supporters. NHRC also organized calls with constituents and a number of key Senate offices, including Majority Leader McConnell’s (R-KY) office and Minority Leader Schumer’s (D-NY) office.
Senator Scott (R-SC), the chair of the Senate Banking subcommittee that oversees housing, was critical to reaching the agreement that will allow for a vote.
FHA is facing a number of key challenges, including a badly outdated technology platform and a general need for experienced senior leadership. Mr. Montgomery, who previously served as FHA Commissioner under the George W. Bush administration, has precisely the experience and expertise that are needed to move FHA forward. NHRC looks forward to working with Mr. Montgomery to ensure that FHA is meeting its critically important role in making affordable homeownership possible for low- and moderate-income Americans.