It’s been nearly three months since the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee approved Brian Montgomery’s nomination to lead the Federal Housing Administration, but Montgomery’s name has not yet been put before the full Senate for a vote.
That wait is more than enough for a consortium of housing industry power players.
Late last week, a number of trade groups, private companies, law firms, fair housing advocates, and others, joined together to call on the Senate to bring Montgomery’s nomination to a vote.
The letter, which was sent to the leaders of each party in the Senate, Sens. Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, and Chuck Schumer, D-New York, is signed by Habitat for Humanity, MERSCORP, the Mortgage Bankers Association, Ballard Spahr, the National Association of Realtors, the National Association of Home Builders, the National Housing Conference, and more.
In total, the letter is signed by 44 organizations.
“The undersigned organizations represent a broad spectrum of the housing and community development industry and advocacy groups,” the groups write.
“We are writing to express our enthusiastic support for the nomination of Brian D. Montgomery as the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s assistant secretary for housing and Federal Housing Administration commissioner,” the letter continues. “We respectfully urge you to move his confirmation forward at the soonest opportunity.”
Many of these same groups have expressed support for Montgomery throughout the nomination process.
If approved by the Senate, Montgomery would take over for acting FHA commissioner Edward Golding.
It would mark Montgomery’s second term as FHA commissioner. He previously held the job under former President George W. Bush, staying on for six months after former President Barack Obama’s inauguration.
In addition to previously serving in the position of assistant secretary for Housing and FHA commissioner at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Montgomery also held a handful of other top positions throughout the government and housing industry, including co-founder and partner at the Collingwood Group, deputy assistant to the president and cabinet secretary, board member on the Federal Housing Finance Board, the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 Oversight Board, and NeighborWorks America Board.
In the letter, the groups cite Montgomery’s background as a reason that he should be confirmed quickly.
“Montgomery is highly qualified for this important position that is critical to HUD’s mission, and there is broad consensus in the housing community that he is the right candidate to lead FHA,” the groups write.
The groups also note that Montgomery has previous experience in dealing with recovery from natural disasters that could prove helpful moving forward.
“Montgomery will provide that leadership and brings valuable practical experience to the position, having previously served at HUD as FHA commissioner from 2005 to 2009, under both the George W. Bush and Obama administrations,” the groups write.
“During that period, he realized the immense counter-cyclical benefits that FHA can provide in the middle of the housing crisis. He also led HUD’s response to Hurricane Katrina and chaired the Hurricane Recovery and Response Center at HUD headquarters,” the letter continues. “This experience will be very helpful in the continuing efforts to address the 2017 disasters in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.”
The groups conclude by again calling on the Senate to vote on Montgomery’s nomination.
“In the spirit of recent bipartisan efforts in Congress, we request that you support Montgomery’s confirmation to provide effective leadership to FHA and move his nomination to the full Senate for a vote,” the letter concludes.
The letter is signed by the following organizations:
Atlanta Neighborhood Development Partnership
California Housing Partnership
Council of Federal Home Loan Banks
Enterprise Community Partners
Grounded Solutions Network
Habitat for Humanity
Home Builders Institute
Housing Initiative Partnership
Housing on Merit
Housing Partnership Network
Leon N. Weiner & Associates
Local Initiatives Support Corporation
Low Income Investment Fund
Manufactured Housing Institute
Minnesota Housing Finance Agency
Mortgage Bankers Association
National Affordable Housing Management Association
National Alliance to End Homelessness
National Association of Affordable Housing Lenders
National Association of Home Builders
National Association of Realtors
National Community Stabilization Trust
National Council of State Housing Agencies
National Housing Conference
National Housing & Rehabilitation Association
National Housing Trust
National Leased Housing Association
National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association
New York Housing Conference
Preservation of Affordable Housing
Public Housing Authorities Directors Association
RW & Associates
Specialty Mortgage Product Solutions
Stewards of Affordable Housing for the Future
Ted Chandler, AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust
The Realty Alliance