Congress approved the appointment of Carol Galante as assistant secretary for housing and commissioner of the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). The appointment was finalized Sunday with 69-24 vote from the Senate.
Galante has served as the acting assistant secretary and FHA commissioner since July 2011.
In its annual report to congress at the end of last year, FHA reported a shortage of $16.3 billion. The FHA has been in a precarious situation since many of the loans it insures faltered during the housing crisis, and rumors of the possible need for a taxpayer bailout have circulated for some time.
The agency raised its insurance premiums by 0.1 percentage point, but some predicted this would not be enough for Galante to win the favor of some dissatisfied Republicans in Congress. However, she was able to win over some critics by committing to reform some of the agency’s practices and to strengthen its business.
“I am pleased that a bipartisan majority in the Senate agreed that Carol offers responsible leadership at a time when we are pursuing necessary reforms to stabilize FHA’s financial outlook,” said Shaun Donovan, secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
Donovan praised Galante for her role in launching the Office of Risk Management and Regulatory Affairs and integrating it into the Office of Housing as well as launching the Office of Housing Counseling at HUD. He also mentioned her efforts to provide affordable housing for the elderly and disabled.
“Carol and I look forward to continuing to work with the Congress in the effort to strengthen FHA for future generations of American homeowners,” Donovan said.
Prior to taking on the role of the acting assistant secretary for housing and FHA commissioner, Galante served as deputy assistant secretary for multifamily housing programs since 2009.
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