According to various media reports, President Barack Obama is set to announce the nomination of San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro as the new Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.
Castro, 39, is in his third term as mayor of San Antonio and is considered a rising star in the Democratic Party. He burst onto the national scene when he was selected as the keynote speaker for the 2012 Democratic National Convention.
According to reports, President Obama will announce Castro’s nomination in the Rose Garden on Friday afternoon. If confirmed by the Senate, Castro would replace the current HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan, who’s expected to be named Director of the White House Office of Management and Budget on Friday afternoon as well.
Donovan has led HUD since 2008. In recent months, Donovan has overseen plans to expand credit access, and called right now “the worst rental affordability crisis this country has ever known.”
He’s spoken of shrinking the role that the Federal Housing Administration is playing in the market by bringing private capital back into the fold. Donovan previously said that the only way to bring “liquidity” back into the market is through legislative reform.
Castro would take control of HUD at a time when it appears that the housing finance reform in Congress has been delayed indefinitely.
Financial analysts from Compass Point believe that Castro won’t be making any significant changes to the FHA’s current plan. "Our conversations lead us to believe that Castro is unlikely to deviate materially from the existing FHA single-family strategy,” said Compass Point analyst Isaac Boltansky. “The potential impact of the leadership change at HUD is admittedly an unknown at this junction but there is little reason – either political or fundamental – to expect a MIP reduction prior to 2015.”
In a statement to the New York Times, a White House official called Castro a “leader among mayors in terms of implementing housing and economic development programs.”
Castro’s twin brother, Joaquin, represents Texas’s 20th District in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Donovan's duties as HUD Secretary continued on Friday morning, as he swore in Katherine O'Regan as HUD's new assistant secretary for policy development and research.