Senate confirms new No. 2 for HUD

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WASHINGTON — The Senate on Thursday confirmed Pam Patenaude to be the deputy secretary at the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The Senate voted 80-17 to confirm Patenaude, who previously served at HUD from 2001 to 2007, first as assistant deputy secretary for field policy and management and later as the agency’s assistant secretary for community, planning and development.

After leaving HUD, she became president of the J. Ronald Terwilliger Foundation for Housing America’s Families. Her previous experience at HUD is likely to help her assist HUD Secretary Ben Carson, a former neurosurgeon who has little experience in the housing market.

Her nomination was approved by the Senate Banking Committee in April, but it was placed on hold by some Democratic senators after she defended significant proposed cuts in HUD’s budget by the Trump administration.

However, Patenaude enjoys widespread support among housing groups, including the National Low Income Housing Coalition, the Mortgage Bankers Association and the National Association of Realtors.

"She brings with her deep knowledge of real-estate finance and housing issues, and has the right experience to be successful in this job," David Stevens, head of the MBA and a former commissioner of the Federal Housing Administration, said in a statement. "I have personally known her for many years and look forward to working with her, Secretary Carson and other officials at HUD on issues that will help Americans’ ability to access affordable single-family and multifamily housing.”

Patenaude's confirmation could pave the way for other HUD officials soon. The Trump administration this week nominated Brian Montgomery as head of the FHA, a position he previously held in the George W. Bush adminsitration.

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