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Monday Morning Cup of Coffee: Here's what we know about Trump's housing team

Who else wants to join the team?

December 12, 2016

Monday Morning Cup of Coffee takes a look at news coming across HousingWire’s weekend desk, with more coverage to come on larger issues.

The deadline for President-elect Donald Trump to fill more than 4,000 political appointees is approaching fast.

When Trump became the next official president to move to D.C., from a Democratic-run system to a Republican-run system to boot, a whole lot of jobs opened up too.

An article in Reuters by Peter Van Buren explains what happens when it comes to the actual work of filling jobs.

Trump was well aware if he won he would need to hire, and if he was not keeping lists of potential candidates, you can be sure others around him were. Far from some kind of unanticipated chore, political organizations stretching back to Tammany Hall if not ancient Rome live for this task – handing out jobs is one of the prizes every election winner, Republican or Democrat, takes home.

Here’s what we know so far about which political officials the President-elect selected for housing.

Let’s start with the biggest name when it comes to housing, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

In what’s turned into one of the most covered selections, Trump announced he selected Ben Carson to lead HUD on Dec. 5.

For HousingWire readers, the news wasn’t too surprising since we exclusively reported Carson’s intention to accept the nomination an entire week prior.

“I am honored to accept the opportunity to serve our country in the Trump administration,” Carson said. “I feel that I can make a significant contribution particularly by strengthening communities that are most in need. We have much work to do in enhancing every aspect of our nation and ensuring that our nation’s housing needs are met.”

The selection of Carson then opens the door to the next key role and possibly an even more pivotal one, the deputy secretary.

Even though HUD secretary gets to sit at the helm of the top housing agency, most of the day-to-day operations are handled by the deputy secretary, currently Nani Coloretti, who essentially serves as COO.

It’s those people inside the housing market that are closely watching for who will fill this position. Here’s the short list for deputy secretary: Pam Patenaude, president of the J. Ronald Terwilliger Foundation for Housing America’s Families and former director of the Bipartisan Policy Center, Rick Lazio, former New York Congressman and national housing attorney, and Brian Montgomery, former assistant secretary for housing and federal housing commissioner at HUD.

Future Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin is the other top position that Trump already announced.

Mnuchin is a former executive at Goldman Sachs and former chairman of OneWest Bank. He also previously served as the finance director of Trump’s campaign and has a long history of working in finance and mortgages.

He’s had the role for less than two weeks and in that period has already touched on GSE reform and reforming Dodd-Frank.

After these top positions, you get into the transition-team announcement.

So far, in housing, Trump announced he selected Paul Atkins, a former Republican member of the Securities and Exchange Commission, to be on the landing team for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Quicken Loans executive vice president Shawn Krause to the HUD transition team. Check here for other transition team announcements.

Van Buren noted in the article that the big jobs will then fill in below them, the deputy and assistant secretaries, attorneys and special advisors.

Given the number of people he knows and trusts from his business, Trump himself may seed in some mid-level appointees, particularly in agencies like Treasury and Commerce.

These positions amount to about one-fourth of the jobs that need to be staffed. And of those, maybe fewer than 100 are critical for Day One.

On the other side, we have the people electing to step down from their positions.

Mary Jo White, the chair of the Securities and Exchange Commissionannounced she planned to step down at the end of the year, clearing the way for Trump to choose new leadership for the financial regulator. Andrew Ceresney, the SEC’s enforcement director, announced he plans to step down at the end of the year as well.

Think you have what it takes to join the Trump administration? Van Buren stated that the last way Trump will staff up his administration is via application.

That’s right. You can go to Trump’s website right now and apply to join his team.

For those who want to apply, here are a couple factors the website suggests considering:

  • The time commitment is significant and the pace is fast
  • Appointments and jobs of the Trump-Pence Administration are demanding, and the application process is rigorous

Go here to apply.

This list is changing everyday, so be sure to follow HousingWire for the latest coverage. Or if you think we missed anyone, feel free to shoot us email! We know the tops seats right now, but there are a lot of important housing positions up for grabs. 

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