Citing the important role that the Department of Housing and Urban Development plays, especially in times of tragedy, the Mortgage Bankers Association is urging the members of the Senate to confirm Pam Patenaude as deputy secretary of HUD.
Patenaude currently serves as the president of the J. Ronald Terwilliger Foundation for Housing America’s Families. She previously served as the director of housing policy at the Bipartisan Policy Center, and served as the Department of Housing and Urban Development assistant secretary for community, planning and development under President George W. Bush.
The HUD secretary, like many other cabinet positions, is the public face of the department, conducting meetings with housing leaders around the country, listening to local concerns, and celebrating milestones.
The deputy secretary, however, handles most of the day-to-day operations.
And, according to MBA President and CEO David Stevens, officially installing Patenaude at HUD is critical.
“With several thousand Texans displaced from their homes in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, it is now more critical than ever that HUD have a Deputy Secretary in place to oversee disaster recovery and coordination with other federal and state agencies working to address the housing situation in Houston,” Stevens said Monday in a letter to Sens. Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, and Chuck Schumer, D-New York, the leaders of each party in the Senate.
“Pam played a key role in coordinating HUD’s response to natural disasters during her prior tenure at HUD and her experience in this regard will be highly beneficial to the department,” Stevens added.
Patenuade’s nomination advanced out of the Senate Banking Committee back in June, but thus far, there has no been official vote on her nomination.
Stevens also called on the Senate to confirm Paul Compton, nominated by the Trump administration to serve as HUD general counsel.
“Both Pam and Paul have extensive backgrounds in housing and a deep understanding of the challenges facing HUD, as well as the critical role the department plays in helping millions of American families,” Stevens said. “Paul has significant experience in the areas of tax credits and affordable housing and Pam possesses an unrivaled background honed over a 30-year career that included two prior tours of duty at HUD.”
The Senate is scheduled to reconvene in the first week of September, and Stevens wants a prompt vote on Patenaude and Compton.
“I’m certain HUD will benefit from both Pam and Paul’s public and private sector experience,” Stevens concludes. “MBA urges the Senate to approve their nominations quickly and we look forward to working with them in their new roles.”