President Trump to Nominate Dana Wade as Federal Housing Commissioner

President Trump today announced that he intends to nominate Dana Wade as Assistant Secretary for Housing, Federal Housing Commissioner. Brian Montgomery, who currently holds the position, is awaiting Senate confirmation for a role as deputy secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, after his nomination was recently confirmed by the Senate Banking Committee.

Dana Wade official HUD portrait. HUD | CC0
Dana Wade

Wade, who previously served as Acting Federal Housing Commissioner and Assistant Secretary for Housing from July 2017 to June 2018, has also held roles at the Office of Management and Budget and within Congress, as the Deputy Staff Director for the United States Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Development and the Republican Deputy Staff Director for the United States Senate Committee on Appropriations.

The president issued his intent via the White House website on Thursday. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Dr. Ben Carson lauded Wade’s nomination, while also praising the leadership of Montgomery.

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“Dana Wade is a spectacular individual who has been enormously valuable to President Trump and this Department,” said Carson in a statement to RMD. “We appreciate Brian Montgomery’s continued stable leadership and are elated with Dana’s nomination. We look forward to Dana’s very capable, guiding hand at FHA and urge the Senate to swiftly confirm her.”

Wade also received congratulations from Steve Irwin, president of the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association (NRMLA).

“NRMLA congratulates Dana Wade on her nomination to be Assistant Secretary for Housing/FHA Commissioner,” Irwin said in an email. “Dana’s depth of knowledge in housing matters, along with her leadership skills, will help further HUD’s mission and modernization efforts.”

Montgomery, who served previously as FHA Commissioner under the second President Bush from 2005 to 2009, has held the role on an interim basis since May 2018. In his recent tenure, he has exhibited his interest and involvement in the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) program through speaking engagements at industry conferences and ongoing dialogue with the industry.

Under his recent leadership, the HECM program has seen a series of changes, including the recent implementation of a collateral risk assessment for HECM loans, and expansion of Federal Housing Administration condo lending guidelines.

In her previous tenure as general assistant secretary for HUD’s Office of Housing, Wade spoke out in support of October 2017’s sweeping changes to the HECM program as necessary measures to protect taxpayers.

“The HECM program has been a substantial net economic drain on the MMI fund, which is why we made these changes,” Wade said in November 2017.

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  • It will be interesting to see what HECM changes Ms. Wade has in mind especially as interest rates rise, widening the losses in the net present value of the HECM portfolio in the MMIF.

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