HUD Secretary Carson: Government Should Not Compromise Lending

DENVER–HUD Secretary Ben Carson said the department will champion the Trump Administration’s efforts to end regulatory burdens, saying the federal government should not “hinder” the role of private enterprise.

BenCarson“The ideal of private enterprise versus public welfare has always been a false choice,” Carson said here yesterday before the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Annual Convention & Expo. “This Administration does not consider private enterprise to be a rival to the government. Therefore, when pursuing HUD’s mission to achieve affordable housing, we cannot hinder the role of private enterprise.”

Carson said HUD will work to implement Trump Administration executive orders to provide regulatory relief.

“A country where it is easier to own a home, start a business and find a job is a country at work,” Carson said. “We need to make public-private partnerships a common cause for the welfare of our communities. These alliance work best when HUD and other government agencies work with private enterprises, and not run roughshod over the private sector.”

Carson noted HUD has established a regulatory reform task force, identifying regulations that should be repealed or modified. “One of the most important principles in running HUD is fulfilling our mission without burdening taxpayers,” he said. “Without lenders able to offer FHA-insured loans or serve as Ginnie Mae issuers, the path to affordable homeownership is compromised.”

Carson said HUD and FHA have heard from the lending industry. “We have heard from you about the lack of clarity and the exposure to outsized liability from immaterial errors,” he said. “These errors should not become outsized matters that inhibits lenders from participating in the housing markets. Lenders have rightly pointed out that absolute perfection in the lending process cannot be achieved and that the result is higher costs.”

Carson said HUD, working with the Justice Department, is committed to resolving these issues. “Part of the process will entail a review by FHA of its lender certifications and implementation of defect taxonomy,” he said. “This process will benefit greatly from the feedback and input we have received from lenders and servicers. Your feedback and recommendation have been, and will continue to be, invaluable to us.”

Carson expressed optimism that HUD staffing issues will be resolved. “We are going to have an FHA Commissioner very soon,” he said. “We are going to have a Ginnie Mae president very soon.”