David Stevens was sworn in as assistant secretary for housing and Federal Housing Administration (FHA) commissioner at the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Wednesday. Stevens, who was confirmed by the Senate on July 10, previously served as president and chief operating officer of the Chantilly, Va.-based real estate and mortgage group of businesses, Long & Foster Companies. In his role as FHA commissioner, Stevens will oversee the administration’s mortgage insurance portfolio of 4.8m single-family loans and 13,000 multifamily projects worth $600bn, as well as HUD's multifamily subsidized housing program. “David Stevens is an innovator in the housing industry and he is the right person to lead FHA as it continues to help hundreds of thousands of families finance their homes with lower rates and better terms,” HUD secretary Shaun Donovan said in a statement. “David's knowledge in real estate, housing and the mortgage industry will help us overcome the current challenges we face, he will implement changes that protect FHA and will enhance its risk management capabilities to protect its future viability.” Stevens takes the helm at the FHA as the administration’s role as insurer and its portfolio of insured loans has swelled on the heels of the housing bubble implosion. He will also oversee HUD’s regulation efforts via the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), which was strengthened late last year. The act's new regulations will take effect January 1, 2010. “I welcome the challenge and I am grateful for the opportunity to work with secretary Donovan in carrying out the Obama Administration's housing vision,” Stevens said in the statement. “HUD has a vitally important job to do in helping those affected by the housing crisis and I am honored to have been chosen to help lead this national effort to help families and individuals through these troubled times.” In addition to his work at Long & Foster, Stevens has held executive positions at Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, and Freddie Mac. After graduating from the University of Colorado at Boulder, Stevens began his career with a 16-year stint at World Savings Bank. Write to Austin Kilgore.