Sandra Thompson, who has been the acting head of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) since June, looks to be Biden’s pick for the leadership role. The Biden Administration announced its nomination plans in a statement on Tues., Dec. 14.
Thompson has over four years of experience in government, particularly financial regulation, risk management and consumer protection. Prior to joining the FHFA, Thompson worked at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation for more than 23 years in several leadership roles, most recently as director of the Division of Risk Management Supervision.
“As a longtime regulator, I am committed to making sure our nation’s housing finance systems and our regulated entities operate in a safe and sound manner,” Thompson said when she was appointed acting director in June. “We can accomplish this, and at the same time have a laser focus on mission and community investment. There is a widespread lack of affordable housing and access to credit, especially in communities of color.”
The National Association of REALTORS® applauded the nomination in a statement issued by NAR President Leslie Rouda Smith.
“ talents and experience will benefit the enterprises, homeowners and homebuyers, and the mortgage financing ecosystem,” said Rouda Smith. “This nomination comes at a time in which the housing market and mortgage finance system face historic challenges. Over a million borrowers are currently in some form of forbearance or default; preserving homeownership or helping homeowners navigate a transition to rental and future homeownership will be an immediate challenge. We look forward to working with the FHFA to continue to identify solutions to these challenges, as well as working together to clarify and cement the GSEs’ critical role in the housing finance system.”
Mortgage Bankers Association President and CEO Bob Broeksmit stated, “MBA applauds the White House’s intention to nominate Sandra Thompson to be the next Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency. Thompson’s in-depth expertise as a regulator and her experience in real-estate finance makes her the perfect choice to lead FHFA. Since assuming the position of Acting Director in June, Thompson has addressed several topline issues, including reversing the adverse market refinance fee, calling for the continuation of pandemic-related flexibilities, enhancing the GSEs’ new refinance programs for low-income borrowers, and overseeing the GSEs’ mission of creating equitable and sustainable solutions for affordable housing and rental opportunities.”
Both organizations recommended a swift confirmation by Congress highlighting the importance of permanent leadership in the role.
Over the last several months, Thompson has tackled the homeownership gap, addressing “irresponsible lending practices,” and collaborated on an interagency fair lending initiative.
The FHFA was created by the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 to oversee Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Home Loan Bank System. It provides oversight of the $7.2 trillion mortgage finance market.
This is a developing story. Stay tuned to RISMedia for updates.