The United States Senate on Thursday confirmed Pam Patenaude as the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s deputy secretary, ending an extended vacancy at that position amid upcoming changes to the reverse mortgage program and the government’s cleanup from hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
“At this moment when so many of our citizens are suffering, Pam will bring strong leadership when we need her most,” HUD secretary Ben Carson said in a statement announcing Patenaude’s confirmation. “Pam’s extensive housing and community development experience will be invaluable as we embark upon the long road to recovery for communities hard-hit by disaster, and I’m grateful the Senate confirmed her nomination.”
President Trump initially nominated Patenaude in April, and her candidacy was advanced to the full Senate for a vote in June.
Once floated as a potential candidate for Carson’s job, Patenaude served as president of the J. Ronald Terwilliger Foundation for Housing America’s Families, a nonprofit that advocates for affordable rental housing. She was also an advisor to Presidents Reagan and George W. Bush, serving as an assistant secretary for community planning and development at HUD under the younger Bush.
The confirmation comes in the same week that Trump announced his intention to nominate Brian Montgomery for his second stint as Federal Housing Administration commissioner, a title that also comes with the title of assistant secretary of urban development.
The Trump administration had faced criticism about a lack of leadership at HUD, with New York magazine asking “Is anybody home at HUD?” in a recent feature story.
Industry reaction to Patenaude’s confirmation has so far been positive, with the Mortgage Bankers Association releasing a statement congratulating Patenaude.
“She brings with her deep knowledge of real-estate finance and housing issues, and she has the right experience to be successful in this job,” MBA president David Stevens said in the statement. “I have personally known her for many years and look forward to working with her, Secretary Carson, and other officials at HUD on issues that will help Americans’ ability to access affordable single-family and multifamily housing.”
Written by Alex Spanko