Magazine article American Banker

Housing Finance Lobby Pins Hopes on HUD Nominee

Magazine article American Banker

Housing Finance Lobby Pins Hopes on HUD Nominee

Article excerpt

Byline: Brian Collins

WASHINGTON -- President Obama said Friday that he intends to nominate San Antonio mayor Julian Castro to be the next secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The nomination of the 39-year-old mayor to the post also gives the president the opportunity to move current HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan over to the White House Office of Management and Budget.

During his announcement, the president credited Castro with revitalizing San Antonio by creating thousands of housing units downtown and attracting hundreds of millions of dollars of investment.

"He has built relationships with mayors all across the country and has become a leader in housing and economic development," Obama said.

Democratic allies are hoping that, once confirmed, Castro will focus on increasing affordable housing and making mortgage-credit more available to first-time homebuyers.

Mortgage consultant Brian Chappelle said he expects Castro will focus on making Federal Housing Administration-insured single family loans more accessible to homebuyers.

"It is obvious to me that expanding homeownership will be a key element of the new secretary's agenda," he said. Chappelle is a co-founder of Potomac Partners in Washington.

Kevin Kelly, the chairman of the National Association of Home Builders, said the group hopes Castro will focus on easing credit standards.

"NAHB looks forward to working with Mr. …

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