Obama Names New “Acting” Commissioner for FHA, Brings Senior Housing Experience

Effective July 12, Carol Galante will serve as acting commissioner of the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) after being named to the position by President Obama.

Galante previously served as deputy assistant secretary for multifamily housing at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and replaces former acting commissioner Robert C. Ryan, who vacated the position to become a senior advisor to HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan.

In her new role, Galante, a licensed real estate broker with a Master of City Planning degree from U.C. Berkeley, will manage the agency’s insurance portfolio, including multifamily housing, health care facilities, and more than 20% of mortgages in the domestic single-family market, says HUD.

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Additionally, she served as President of BRIDGE Housing Corporation, which specializes in the development of family and senior affordable apartments, rental and ownership housing.  BRIDGE recently celebrated the opening of the Coronet, a 150 unit affordable senior housing complex in San Francisco, CA.

“FHA Commissioner is not a position for the faint of heart so Carol’s experience dealing with the myriad of challenges within HUD and FHA give her a leg up on someone from the outside,” said Christopher Boesen of Tiber Creek Associates of Capitol Hill in an email to SHN.

“Whether she retains the word “acting” in her title for an extended period is a big question and could have an impact on her effectiveness; hopefully the Administration has plans to move a nomination through the Senate Banking Committee quickly.”

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Ryan was previously responsible for overseeing FHA’s enterprise risk management functions in a division encompassing all of its business lines since October 2009; this included single-family, multifamily and healthcare lines. In April 2011, Ryan took over as acting commissioner for the FHA after Commissioner David Stevens left to head the Mortgage Bankers Association.

“I am extremely confident that her proven track record is exactly what HUD needs to continue moving the FHA forward,” HUD Secretary Donovan said in a statement. “I am also pleased to bring Bob Ryan into my office to work closely with me on issues such as housing finance reform. Bob is proven a leader in the mortgage finance industry who has diligently focused his attention on working to reform our nation’s housing finance system with a goal of moving it toward more stable ground.”

Written by Alyssa Gerace and John Yedinak

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