Federal Housing Administration Commissioner Carol Galante announced Aug. 11 that she will be leaving the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and stepping down from her role as assistant secretary for housing at the end of this year, HousingWire reported.
In January, Galante will assume the I. Don Terner Distinguished Professorship in Affordable Housing at the University of California, Berkeley, where she also will serve as the director of Berkeley’s Program in Housing and Urban Policy and co-chair the Fisher Center on Real Estate Policy Advisory Board.
“This is a compelling opportunity for me to continue with work I am passionate about and also return home to California,” she said, HousingWire reported.
When Galante began her tenure at the FHA, the country still was recovering from the economic crisis and the market was far from stable. With more oversight and added regulation, the FHA has “helped our housing market come back,” Galante said, HousingWire reported.
Homeowner equity now stands at more than $10 trillion, foreclosure starts are at their lowest levels since 2005 and consumers are on pace to purchase more than five million homes this year alone.
“Her departure will be a great loss for the industry as well as to HUD,” David Stevens, president and CEO of the Mortgage Bankers Association and a former FHA commissioner, said, HousingWire reported. “Carol was a tremendous asset to both in very difficult times.”
“Since assuming her current role as FHA Commissioner, she has worked tirelessly on the critical reforms to further strengthen FHA’s risk management that have helped restore the financial health of the MMI fund,” Stevens added, HousingWire reported.
After the financial crisis, Galante initiated several programs to help get the housing market on track, including revamping its loss-mitigation programs and revising the FHA’s automatic underwriting program.
Galante said she feels good about the FHA, its future, its reforms to date and the team running things.