The Senate confirmed the nomination of Pam Patenaude as deputy secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, a choice the National Association of REALTORS® and other real estate groups say will be good for homeownership.
Patenaude previously served at HUD as its deputy secretary for field policy and management from 2001 to 2007, and later as assistant secretary for community, planning, and development. She then became president of the J. Ronald Terwilliger Foundation for Housing America’s Families. She was reportedly on the short list for HUD secretary, the job that went to Ben Carson.
“She has a big task ahead,” NAR President William E. Brown said in a statement. “Home prices continue to rise in an environment of ever-tightening mortgage credit, which means buyers are struggling to keep pace. That’s a combination that’s tough not only on young and first-time buyers but also on current homeowners looking to sell so they can move up to a property that better fits their needs.”
The homeownership rate continues to hover around a 50-year low. “Pam understands those challenges,” Brown says. “She has the background and experience necessary to do the job right, and we look forward to working with her to improve the landscape for current and prospective homeowners.”
NAR, along with nearly 60 other organizations in the housing industry, recently sent a letter to Senate leadership urging them to bring Patenaude’s nomination to the Senate floor for a full vote. In June, Patenaude’s nomination had moved through the Senate Banking Committee but then stalled. The Senate on Thursday voted 80-17 to confirm Patenaude’s nomination as deputy HUD secretary.
In her new role, she will oversee most of HUD’s day-to-day operations, including leading the agency’s disaster management group and coordinating long-term recovery efforts of 16 programs and support offices within HUD.
“Pam’s extensive housing and community development experience will be invaluable as we embark upon the long road to recovery for communities hard-hit by disaster, and I’m grateful the Senate confirmed her nomination,” HUD Secretary Ben Carson said in a statement.