Mortgage

Freddie Mac vet tapped to lead FHA

Ed Golding has been top HUD adviser on housing finance reform

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Freddie Mac veteran Edward Golding has been named to head up the Federal Housing Administration — sort of.

For now, Golding’s title will be “principal deputy assistant secretary” — a position with slightly more limited powers than FHA commissioner that doesn’t require Senate confirmation, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Golding, who’s been working as a senior adviser on housing finance to HUD Secretary Julian Castro, is the leading candidate to become full FHA commissioner, the Journal said, citing anonymous sources.

He’s slated to replace Biniam Gebre, who had been serving as acting assistant secretary after FHA Commissioner Carol Galante stepped down last year on April 7.

Golding’s appointment — announced by Castro in an internal email Thursday — was welcomed by the Mortgage Bankers Association.

MBA President and CEO David Stevens called Golding “an excellent choice to fill a very critical role at HUD, bringing more than two decades of real-world, operational experience in the mortgage markets.”

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Stevens said the MBA had worked closely with Gebre “on several projects and found him to be open, thoughtful and forward-thinking. I am glad to hear that he will be staying at HUD in another capacity because he is an important resource for Secretary Castro.”

According to HUD’s 2014-2018 strategic plan, Golding has been leading an initiative at HUD to work with other agencies, Congress and stakeholder groups on housing finance reform.

The goal is to create “a sustainable housing finance system” that minimizes taxpayer risk and focuses the government’s role on “a more targeted market of underserved borrowers” by:

  • Creating a legislative framework to wind down Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac “in a measured and careful manner.”
  • Focusing FHA on maintaining access to capital for homeowners and multifamily project owners through all economic cycles.
  • Formulating rules to enhance access to financing for creditworthy borrowers and promote the revival of the private-label mortgage sector, with “enhanced safety mechanisms for both consumers and investors.”

Email Matt Carter.