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In advance of Thursday’s Senate confirmation hearing of Dr. Ben Carson to become the next Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD), the mortgage industry’s leading trade group voiced its support of the nomination while the financial services world’s greatest critic prepared an acute grilling of the candidate.
In a letter to the Senate Banking Committee, David H. Stevens, president and chief executive officer of the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), welcomed the choice of Dr. Carson for the HUD leadership role.
“MBA believes that HUD needs to address several critical priorities in its management of the Federal Housing Administration, including enhancing the FHA’s efficiency and technology deployment, clarifying existing lender guidance, and ensuring the long-term financial stability of the FHA program,” Stevens wrote. “HUD can benefit from a fresh perspective to address these critical issues. Dr. Carson has demonstrated throughout his career that he possesses the intellect to understand and respond to complex challenges. We believe he will put those talents to good use, helping strengthen America’s housing market, promoting the production of affordable rental housing, and improving communities nationwide.”
Separately, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) sent a letter to the nominee consisting of 35 detailed questions ranging from HUD policy on public housing and homelessness to Dr. Carson’s statements on the presidential campaign trail regarding LGBT issues. Although acknowledging Dr. Carson’s “many accomplishments in the medical field,” Warren seemed skeptical of his ability to run HUD.
“You will have to overcome your lack of experience managing an organization this large to ensure that you do not waste taxpayer dollars and reduce assistance for families who desperately need it,” she said.