New insights from former FHA Commissioner Brian Montgomery will be showcased at the opening session of the 2014 Housing Summit. He will join three other former FHA commissioners and current Commissioner Galate. With three weeks to go, don’t forget to register here.
The Housing Summit will attract attendees from all segments of the housing industry. In a sentence or two, please describe what you do.
I am a partner and co-founder at the Collingwood Group – a Washington, D.C.-based advisory firm focused on compliance and risk management within government lending as well as strategic business development for technology firms whose expertise is within the mortgage space. Prior to co-founding Collingwood, I served as commissioner of the Federal Housing Administration from 2005-2009 including six-months into the Obama administration.
When did you become interested in housing, and why?
While working at the Texas Department of Housing & Community Affairs during the administration of Governor George W. Bush, I realized I very much enjoyed the policy and programmatic challenges around affordable housing development and mortgage finance as well as federal grant programs such as HOME and CDBG. In fact, early in the President George W. Bush administration my ideal housing job, following my White House tenure, was to be the assistant secretary for community planning & development at HUD. However, my good friend Pam Patenaude already had the position so I instead was nominated by President Bush in 2005 to head-up the FHA.
What is the most critical housing issue that we should be paying attention to today?
While GSE reform and housing finance in general are top of mind and continue to dominate the housing agenda, I would submit that housing availability for extremely low income persons, in particular seniors and persons with disabilities, is a critically-important topic requiring bipartisan focus and commitment.
Your session will bring together four former FHA commissioners with the current one – Carol Galante. What, in particular, do you hope to see addressed in the discussion or during the Q&A period?
Since I am one of the five participants, I hope we focus on the great work FHA has done during and after the housing crisis and that it is a program both political parties should be proud of. Getting more granular, I would hope rental and subsidized housing are also topics of discussion.
If you were planning a housing summit, who would be your dream keynote speaker? Why?
To highlight how policy and legislation can be achieved through bipartisan leadership, I would love to have former presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton appear together. Not only are both enormously engaging and entertaining, but speak from the heart about the goodness and generosity of Americans toward their fellow citizens. That is a message everyone needs to hear.