Confirmed: White House tapping senior HUD advisor to head FHA

Former Freddie Mac exec Edward Golding to be named

[Updates: 2:25 p.m. ET]

[Updated: 2:46 p.m. ET]

Sources in Washington confirm to HousingWire that President Obama and the Department of Housing and Urban Development are planning to name senior HUD advisor Edward Golding to serve as head of the Federal Housing Administration.

Golding, a former Freddie Mac executive, would take over for acting commissioner Biniam Gebre.

Because of ongoing tensions between the White House and Congressional Republicans, some are suggesting the White House could name Golding as acting head, thus circumventing the Senate approval process that has tied up other controversial nominees such as attorney general nominee Loretta Lynch.

“I am pleased to update you on some key changes to HUD’s leadership team,” HUD Secretary Julián Castro said in a memo to employees. “On April 7, Biniam Gebre will be moving from his role as Acting FHA Commissioner/Assistant Secretary for the Office of Housing to join Deputy Secretary Coloretti’s team as a Senior Advisor.  Ed Golding from the PD&R office will then transition to lead the Office of Housing as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary.”

Golding, who earned his PhD in economics at Princeton, has served as a visiting fellow at the Urban Institute, for 23 years at Freddie Mac where he was senior vice president for models, missions and research, and as visiting faculty at Princeton.

Gebre has served as acting head of the FHA after Carol Galante announced that she was stepping down from her role as commissioner in August 2014. 

Here's what Castro had to say in the memo:

First, I want to thank Biniam for the outstanding work he’s done to help families across the nation achieve their housing goals and dreams.  During his tenure, the FHA’s MMI fund turned positive and is on a strong track to continue growing stronger.  FHA also made important strides in making homeownership more affordable and in expanding access to credit for hard working, responsible families.  Through it all, Biniam has served our Department with distinction, and I know he’ll continue to make vital contributions in the Office of the Deputy Secretary.  

Second, I would like to express my gratitude to Ed for taking on these new responsibilities as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary.  He has worked in the housing industry for over 25 years, including for the past two years at HUD and previously at the Urban Institute. Ed brings a wealth of knowledge and insight to his new role. Ed has been an invaluable advisor to me during my time as Secretary, and I’m confident that his experience and vision will be an incredible asset to FHA and the Office of Housing. 

Shortly after the announcement was formalized, the Mortgage Bankers Association praised Golding's appointment.

“Ed Golding is 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. FHA has a number of important items on its plate right now for both single family and multifamily housing finance, and I can’t think of anyone better suited than Ed to lead those initiatives. Ed’s unparalleled knowledge and experience will serve him well as he carries out FHA’s mission to ensure affordable mortgage financing for qualified low and moderate income and first time homebuyers, while at the same time stabilizing and rebuilding the MMI fund,” said MBA presidents and CEO David Stevens.

“I also want to recognize the leadership that Biniam Gebre provided FHA during his tenure as Acting Assistant Secretary. We worked closely with Biniam 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,” he said.

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