In February, a top career official at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development fired off a troubling letter to the Biden administration.
The official, a 23-year veteran of the agency, wrote that he had serious concerns about the Federal Housing Agency’s pandemic response, the timing and effectiveness of a massive IT modernization effort ahead of the 2020 election, and a tidal wave of defaults and foreclosures the federal government wasn’t prepared to handle. Those liabilities alone totaled $155 billion, the official, Vance Morris, warned in the letter.
Critically, the Biden administration was flying blind because they’d iced Morris out of the transition from the Trump administration, he wrote in the letter, which was not made public.
HousingWire spoke to half a dozen housing policy experts and former HUD officials to assess the risk to taxpayers described by the official in the letter; whether the software update was politically tainted; and ultimately why Morris, the associate general deputy assistant secretary at HUD, was sidelined by the Biden administration.