David Stevens, the former Long & Foster Cos. executive tapped by the Obama administration in 2009 to run the Federal Housing Administration, says he’ll be moving on in the next few weeks — perhaps to head up oversight of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, some have speculated.
Early in Stevens’ tenure, loans that FHA had insured during the housing boom were going bad at a rate that drained capital reserves to below their congressionally mandated minimums.
Stevens presided over a slew of changes — ranging from tightened underwriting standards and oversight of lenders to a restructuring of mortgage insurance premiums — that auditors said will likely keep the government mortgage insurance program self-sustaining, avoiding the need for a taxpayer bailout.
"Assuming this position and the challenges addressed since I took office have been the most intense and significant in my career," Stevens said in a statement. "It has been my honor to serve President Obama, (Housing) Secretary (Shaun) Donovan, and the entire administration. I am extremely proud of everything we accomplished to put the FHA back on stable footing."
Donovan said Stevens was "singularly focused on restoring FHA to fiscal health to protect taxpayers" while ensuring it could fulfill its mission of making homeownership available to "qualified moderate-income, underserved and first-time homebuyers."
Stevens’ leadership came at a historic time for FHA, and "not only contributed to a renewed sense of confidence in the FHA, but also a restored trust in government and what it can do," Donovan said.
While there has been speculation that Stevens might become the next director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, he hasn’t received an official job offer, National Mortgage News reported, citing anonymous sources.
Stevens told Reuters that he’s "not sure yet" where he’ll land, and that "this is just the right time to transition and to get some fresh legs" at FHA.