|HUD No. 23-090
HUD Public Affairs
May 3, 2023
In Case You Missed It: Forbes Magazine Highlights the Four Women Leading HUD, the FHA, Ginnie Mae, and FHFA
Last week, Forbes Magazine highlighted that for the first time in history, four women are at the mantle of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Federal Housing Administration (FHA), Ginnie Mae, and Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA).
In their Cover Story, linked and pasted below, the leading business outlet covered what HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge, FHA Commissioner Julia Gordon, Ginnie Mae President Alanna McCargo, and FHFA Director Sandra Thompson are doing to make housing more accessible, affordable, and equitable for all.
By Diane Brady and Brittany Lewis, Forbes Staff
April 27, 2023
For the first time in US history, the leaders of four key government agencies overseeing the housing market are women. Marcia L. Fudge runs the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which administers the policies and programs aimed at creating more affordable housing and inclusive communities; Sandra L. Thompson is in charge at the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), which was established in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis to supervise and regulate Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Home Loan Bank System; the Government National Mortgage Association (Ginnie Mae), the federal corporation within HUD that attracts capital to finance and back federally-insured mortgages is helmed by Alanna McCargo; and Julia Gordon is the Commissioner of the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), which provides mortgage insurance on loans made by approved lenders.
Together, they are charged with making housing more affordable and accessible at a time when the $45.3 trillion U.S. housing market is under acute stress. Although Redfin estimates the total value of residential homes fell $2.3 trillion in the second half of last year and Moody’s predicts it could dip another 10% over the next two years, prices remain staggeringly out of reach for many potential homebuyers.
The rental market doesn’t offer much relief. Thanks to a confluence of factors ranging from higher construction costs and zoning restrictions to homeowners’ resistance to development and landlords allegedly ‘warehousing’ apartments to keep prices high, the supply of rental units has fallen millions short of projected demand. What does come available can be so pricy that Moody’s found that, for the first time in two decades, the national average rent-to-income ratio (RTI) reached 30% in the fourth quarter of 2022 – meaning the average U.S. renter is likely to be “rent-stressed.”
And yet there is hope. Fudge, who formerly chaired the Congressional Black Caucus, has made it a priority to expand down payment assistance, increase housing options and draw attention to discriminatory practices. She feels strengthened by the support of her colleagues in our agencies.
“I think it can't be understated, when you think about the fact that we control trillions of dollars, that we are probably one of the most important groups of people in housing today,” she says. “And this kind of authority has been given to four women who I believe are very competent and capable of making sure that we can move the markets forward, that we can protect the public trust and we can do the job that takes care of people that we all know is a part of our mission.”
In recent weeks, Forbes interviewed these four leaders to learn how they are navigating this difficult era.
“In my many years of practicing law, fair housing has been the law of the land and it is something that I intend to enforce.”
“It’s more than getting a house, it's staying in the house. You should be able to live where you work.”
“We are working together in ways that we never have before. This has never happened before in history, where you have women at the cornerstone who are thinking and focused on equity and ensuring that we are getting the job done on affordability.”
“I think it’s beneficial, both to the market and to stakeholders in housing, that many of us who hold these positions now have a long history of working together and have long-standing personal relationships that help us do a better job of collaboration.”