What a great series the exclusive HousingWire podcast “6 Questions for 6 HUD Executives” turned out to be.
With listeners from the Beltway all the way to Belgium, we had no idea the reach would be so great. Thank you, dear listeners!
Need a one-stop spot to hear all 7 (that’s 6, plus a bonus) episodes? Well, here you go.
Episode 1 begins with an iinterview with Dept. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson about what led him to take on his role at HUD, his views on the state of housing and how to fix the issues contributing to the nation’s shortage of affordable housing and longterm poverty.
How has being a neurosurgeon impacted the way Carson operates at HUD? What role does faith play in his job? How can HUD help fight toxic NIMBYism and the lack of affordable housing? Answers to all this and more on Episode 1. Listen and enjoy!
Episode 2: Who brings housing hope to those deeply impacted by natural disasters? Who will help the 117,000 FHA-backed homeowners of Puerto Rico? In the second episode of our exclusive podcast series, I speak with HUD Deputy Secretary Pamela Hughes Patenaude about disaster recovery, the impact of the opioid epidemic and the interconnected nature of the nation’s housing policy
Episode 3: Brian Montgomery was confirmed as FHA commissioner in May by a vote in the Senate of 74 to 23. But this wasn’t his first trip to the HUD c-suite, this is his second run leading the FHA and he’s been serving the public sector in several roles for quite some time. Still, it’s a far cry from back when he thought he’d become a geologist, before housing “got into [his] blood,” as he tells me. What’s the biggest challenge facing the FHA today? Access to tech solutions, he explains, which is not surprising as some HUD systems are nearing 40 years of use. So what’s the solution, here? It’s a big one, Montgomery explains. All that and more, please listen and enjoy.
Episode 4: HUD CFO Irving Dennis joined the agency earlier this year after nearly four decades at Ernst Young, where he was a partner overseeing the audits of major SP 500 companies. In episode 4 of HousingWire’s exclusive podcast series with HUD execs, Dennis talks about his move to the public sector and the passion that drives him.
Episode 5: Anna Maria Farias shares a special bond with Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson. Farias, who serves as HUD’s Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, also grew up in public housing. She, like Carson, fought hard to achieve a greatness unparalleled. Farias was the child of a single parent who struggled to make ends meet, and she witnessed first-hand the discrimination and harassment her mother faced daily. Today, she’s doing something about it. Farias is one of a handful of shielded HUD staffers. That means, if your lending policies are out of whack on a federal level, Farias may just show up and throw the cuffs on you. Farias sat down me to discuss her colorful upbringing, her current enforcement actions and the real reason HUD went after Facebook.
Episode 6: Michael Bright knows his way around both the private and public sectors of housing finance. Bright came to become COO of Ginnie Mae from the Milken Institute. At the Milken Institute, Bright worked in the think tank’s Center for Financial Markets, where he led its housing program. Prior to working at Milken, Bright was a top aide to Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn. While working for Corker, Bright helped author the Corker-Warner housing finance reform bill, which failed in the Senate in 2015 and would have seen Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac wound down and replaced. Bright also spent time with Wachovia Bank and Countrywide Financial early on his career. Those experiences became a defining experience for him and are helping to guide Bright through his role at Ginnie Mae, where the now two-trillion dollar portfolio continues to grow. Listen to the exclusive conversation we share where he discusses his plans to keep the “guardrails in place” at the nation’s only mortgage bond issuer with the full backing of the United States.
Bonus! Dept. of Housing and Urban Development Senior Advisor Adolfo Marzol knows firsthand about this nation’s long history with taking in and housing refugees. In fact, his parents emigrated from Cuba in 1961.
How did the Marzols know they had made it in America? Today, the senior advisor to Secretary Carson is giving back some gratitude and is working hard to ensure that the HECM program will help elderly Americans age in place with grace and dignity. His is a story you won’t want to miss and serves as a bonus, and finale podcast to the exclusive series.