Senate Puts Stevens Back on Track for FHA

The nomination of Wells Fargo Home Mortgage veteran David Stevens finally picks up steam after a Senate committee approved the nomination. Stevens, who was nominated back in March to head the Federal Housing Administration, must pass a full Senate vote before his nomination can be considered confirmed. It marks the last step on his months-long path to taking a lead role in the administration. The confirmation process hit a snag when questions arose over lawsuits involving Long & Foster, a real estate firm where Stevens currently serves as president and CEO. But the nomination appears to be back on track with the Senate committee approval, although it remains unclear when Stevens may face a full Senate vote. The news comes as the former general manager of the Los Angeles Housing Department, Mercedes Marquez, passed a unanimous confirmation to become an assistant secretary at the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the broader regulatory department that houses FHA. Marquez will head the office of community planning and development — which administers nearly $8bn in programs designed to stimulate community development and affordable housing — for HUD, which has faced criticism in recent months for understaffing issues and outdated technology, most recently from the Office of Inspector General. HUD is known for a history of staffing issues even before the recent passage of the Omnibus Appropriations Bill, which allocates funds to enhance IT systems and increase personnel to meet processing needs, among other administrative improvements. Write to Diana Golobay.

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