President-elect Barack Obama has tapped the head of New York City’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development, Shaun Donovan, to be the next secretary of housing.

Obama called Donovan — who held a key position at HUD under the Clinton administration and also has experience in the private sector — a reformer who’s expanded access to affordable housing in New York City.

President-elect Barack Obama has tapped the head of New York City’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development, Shaun Donovan, to be the next secretary of housing.

Obama called Donovan — who held a key position at HUD under the Clinton administration and also has experience in the private sector — a reformer who’s expanded access to affordable housing in New York City.

Before joining Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration, Donovan, 42, was in charge of FHA lending and affordable housing investment at Prudential Mortgage Capital Co.

Donovan was also deputy assistant secretary for multifamily housing at HUD until March 2001, running subsidy programs that provided more than $9 billion a year to 1.7 million families, and oversaw a porftolio of more than 2 million housing units.

The National Association of Realtors and Mortgage Bankers Association issued statements welcoming Obama’s choice for Secretary of Housing.

Donovan is "an acknowledged expert in housing" whose "hands-on experience" in the private and nonprofit sectors "will be extremely helpful,” NAR President Charles McMillan said in a statement.

Mortgage Bankers Association Chief Operating Officer John Courson said Donovan’s work as New York City’s housing commissioner has been "widely hailed" and that his experience in the private, nonprofit and academic sectors gives him "a unique perspective on the current turmoil in the housing market."

If confirmed by the Senate, Donovan will succeed former Small Business Association Administrator Steve Preston, appointed by Bush to take charge of HUD after Housing Secretary Alphonso Jackson stepped down in April. Preston has pushed through changes to implementation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, or RESPA, that were opposed by the industry and are scheduled to be phased in next year (see story).

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