So far four individuals have been nominated for Senate-confirmed positions at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Among their impressive backgrounds are extensive connections to the low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) and other housing and community development programs.
Deputy Secretary: Pamela Hughes Patenaude
Pamela Patenaude has a diverse and robust background in affordable housing policy and practice. Her nomination to be HUD’s second in command was met with widespread praise from across all sectors. Most recently she was president of the J. Ronald Terwilliger Foundation for America’s Families and director of the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) Housing Commission. She also served in HUD during the George W. Bush administration as the assistant secretary for community planning and development. Under her leadership the BPC recommended a 50 percent increase in the LIHTC, which later became the centerpiece of the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act introduced by Sens. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., and Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, on Feb. 7. Patenaude’s nomination has been approved by the Senate Banking Committee, but is awaiting final confirmation.
General Counsel: J. Paul Compton
Paul Compton is a partner in the Birmingham office of Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP. He has practiced law for nearly three decades, consistently being recognized as a “Super Lawyer” (a recognition awarded to no more than five percent of attorneys in a state). He has been a leader in housing and community development in Alabama, including serving as counsel to multiple state associations. Compton’s broad transactional practice involves LIHTCs, various HUD programs, new markets tax credits, and regulated financial institutions. For example, in 2013 his firm assisted its clients in securing $55 million in LIHTCs.
Anna Maria Farias currently serves as chair of the Board of Regents at Texas Woman’s University. Like Patenaude, Farias previously worked in HUD headquarters during the George W. Bush administration, serving as senior counsel to Secretary Mel Martinez, deputy assistant secretary for grant programs, and director for the Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. From 1993 to 2000 she was executive director of the housing authority in Crystal City, Texas, where she had resided as a child. Farias also lived there during her tenure, and was recognized for being the only executive director in the nation to do so. She has been inducted into the Texas Women’s Hall of Fame.
Neal Rackleff is a partner in the Austin office of Lock Lord, thereby sharing similarities with Compton and Farias (being a private firm attorney and resident of Texas). He has practiced affordable housing and community development law, including LIHTCs, tax increment financing, and public infrastructure. Previously he was Houston’s director of housing and community development. During his time the city financed production of 7,800 affordable apartments. Rackleff’s department also effectively ended veteran homelessness, the first major city to do so, and was responsible for a 70 percent decline in chronic homelessness.
Other HUD Positions
If the above announced nominations are any indication, future nominations to join Secretary Ben Carson’s leadership team will be well qualified for their roles.
There are several other major Senate-approved positions at HUD for which the White House has yet to announce nominations: Federal Housing Administration (FHA) commissioner, Ginnie Mae president, assistant secretaries for public and Indian housing (PIH), congressional and intergovernmental relations (CIR), and policy development and research (PD&R). There have been several press reports of Brian Montgomery getting serious consideration to be nominated for FHA commissioner, a position he held in the George W. Bush Administration. Similarly, David Kittle is reportedly being considered for Ginnie Mae president; he is a former Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) president.