Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A housing finance insider comes to FHA

We're seeing cheers from reverse mortgage lenders about the recent appointment of Carol Galante as acting FHA Commissioner. That puts her in charge of HUD-insured reverse mortgages among other things. They sound just a little too happy for comfort. Don't know why.

What I do know is, this is the sort of appointment that affordable housing advocates would have been happy to see when the FHA head was a former Bush family PR man, Brian Montgomery. As a past head of the nonprofit BRIDGE Housing, Galante is an insider in the multifamily tax credit development business. She understands how the multilayered financing of a subsidized development actually works, which is a surprisingly rare skill. Heck, she might even be interested in helping more people live indoors.

So the change is from an insider in Texas Republican politics to an insider in the California Democratic poverty industry. In housing, that means a choice between, on one hand, ignoring poor people, or, on the other hand, doing things for poor people that incidentally benefit rich investors, without devoting any great energy to asking actual poor people how they might prefer to live.

Is there another choice?

No comments:

Post a Comment