It’s been rumored since May that Federal Housing Administration (FHA) veteran Brian Montgomery could possibly be returning to his post under the Trump administration, but now the speculations have been upheld. As of Wednesday morning, Montgomery, who served under George W. Bush for eight years, has been nominated as the Assistant Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Federal Housing Commissioner.
Montgomery, who now operates as Vice Chairman of The Collingwood Group, a Washington D.C.-Based Advisory Firm that he co-founded, served as Deputy Assistant to the President from 2001 to 2005. After serving under the Bush Administration, he continued at his post six months into former President Barack Obama’s leadership before resigning in July of 2009.
During his time as FHA Commissioner, his primary focus was the creation and implementation of a bill that would modernize the FHA, an issue that is still looming over the administration. The Bill, which was passed in the House July 2006, increased loan limits, updated down payment assistance options, and added a risk-based premium structure.
In addition, Montgomery worked closely to educate African-Americans who had interest in buying their first homes, and was the 2008 recipient of the Robert J. Corletta Award, which pays tribute to those who have shown extraordinary creativity and dedication to the cause of affordable housing.
“Having had the privilege of knowing Brian Montgomery for many years, I can testify to his ample qualification to lead the Federal Housing Administration," said Five Star Institute President and CEO Ed Delgado. "With his return to public service, FHA is gaining a strong and steady hand that will serve it well as it formulates responsive policy in the wake of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. I applaud the Administration's choice."
One of the matters Montgomery will be taking on involves the suspension of the proposed mortgage insurance rate cut required for all FHA-backed loans—a decision made a mere hour after President Trump took office in January. Ben Carson, Secretary of HUD, said, at the time, that he was surprised by the cut and would work with the FHA administrator and other financial experts to examine the policy, however, the suspension came before Carson’s confirmation.
Though the policy may be a concern for first-time and low-income homebuyers, it could be one of the many things Montgomery plans to address, as he has already raised concerns about mortgage regulation.
"To restore housing to its traditional role as an engine of economic growth and opportunity, the incoming Trump administration should pursue policies designed to make the path to homeownership possible again for fully-informed prospective buyers who have the ability to carry a mortgage," Montgomery wrote to POLITICO in November.