Senate Confirms Dana Wade as FHA Commissioner

The Senate yesterday confirmed Dana Wade as FHA Commissioner by a 57-40 vote.

Dana Wade

The Mortgage Bankers Association strongly supported Wade’s nomination. In statement yesterday afternoon, MBA President and CEO Robert Broeksmit, CMB, commended the Senate vote.

“MBA applauds the Senate for confirming Dana Wade to be the next FHA Commissioner. During her tenure at HUD, Ms. Wade has been an integral part in strengthening the various programs that provide affordable housing opportunities and assistance to homebuyers and renters. With her expertise and experience, I am confident that Ms. Wade will be successful in developing workable solutions during this unprecedented time. We look forward to continuing to work with her, Secretary Ben Carson, Deputy Secretary Brian Montgomery, and others in the administration on policies and programs to ensure a sustainable housing market while offering relief for affected borrowers and renters and protecting taxpayers.”

Wade, nominated by President Trump in February, fills the slot vacated by Brian Montgomery, who was approved this spring as HUD Deputy Secretary. Len Wolfson (a former MBA lobbyist) had been serving as interim FHA Commissioner.

“Dana has been a tremendous asset to the Department and the Administration throughout her years of service, and I have full confidence in her ability to successfully lead FHA,” said HUD Secretary Ben Carson.

“We are grateful to have her considerable talents and knowledge to help guide the agency as our nation pulls through this pandemic,” said Deputy Secretary Brian Montgomery, who served as FHA Commissioner from 2005-2009 and 2018-2020.

“I’m extremely grateful for this opportunity to hit the ground running during this critical time for our nation’s housing markets,” Wade said.

Wade served previously as Acting Federal Housing Commissioner and Assistant Secretary for Housing from July 2017 to June 2018. Most recently, she served as a Program Associate Director for General Government with the Office of Management and Budget from December 2018 to December 2019, where she led budget oversight for six Executive Branch agencies with a focus on financial services, including HUD and multiple independent agencies.

Wade has also held senior staff positions in Congress, serving as the Deputy Staff Director for the Senate Banking Committee and the Republican Deputy Staff Director for the Senate Appropriations Committee.

The Senate Banking Committee approved Wade’s nomination by a 15-10 vote on May 12, after several delays stemming from the coronavirus pandemic, which temporarily stalled a number of Administration nominations.

Ahead of yesterday’s full Senate vote, MBA sent a letter of support to Capitol Hill. MBA Senior Vice President of Legislative and Political Affairs Bill Killmer said Wade’ extensive previous experience offers a “unique perspective” on the issues facing our nation’s housing and mortgage markets.

This experience will serve her well at FHA, where she will manage over 2,400 employees and a $1.3 trillion mortgage portfolio,” Killmer wrote. “Most importantly, if confirmed, she will be tasked with guiding FHA borrowers who face economic distress due to COVID-19-related hardships.

Killmer commended Wade for her work with Ginnie Mae to set up a lending facility, which allowed many servicers to better help consumers. “At the onset of the crisis, this type of facility was vital to the health of the overall mortgage finance market and was crucial for residential and commercial/multifamily mortgage servicers to provide unprecedented levels of mortgage payment forbearance as authorized under the CARES Act (P.L. 116136). We look forward to our continued work with FHA, the administration, Congress, the Federal Reserve and state and local officials to ensure that borrowers, renters, and small businesses are properly supported and protected during this pandemic.” 

Killmer noted FHA must address several critical management priorities, including enhancing efficiency and technology deployment, clarifying existing lender guidance and ensuring the long-term financial stability of the FHA program. “Mrs. Wade’s knowledge of FHA and the housing market will help guide FHA to support production of affordable rental housing as well as the critical multifamily public-private partnership,” he said.

“During her confirmation hearing, Ms. Wade stated she will do everything possible as FHA Commissioner to help the United States emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic as a better country. This is especially important for Americans of color, who have suffered the brunt of the impact from the health crisis,” said Richard Ferguson, President of CBC Mortgage Agency, South Jordan, Utah.