Julia Gordon was confirmed by the Senate to be the next Department of Housing and Urban Development’s assistant secretary for housing and Federal Housing Administration (FHA) commissioner.
Vice President Kamala Harris cast the deciding vote, breaking a 50-50 tie.
Gordon recently served as president of the National Community Stabilization Trust, a nonprofit that supports neighborhood revitalization and affordable homeownership through facilitating the rehabilitation of residential properties in underserved markets. She’s also been manager of the single-family policy team at the Federal Housing Finance Agency.
Wednesday’s vote ends a long confirmation process.
Senate Banking Committee ranking member Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) urged his colleagues to oppose Gordon’s nomination, saying she has a history of “troubling statements denigrating the police.”
“Among other things, she retweeted an inflammatory post that described police officers as the people killing us,’” he said.
Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) spoke in support of Gordon, calling her highly qualified with decades of experience and broad support from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), Habitat for Humanity, and others.
“She’s devoted her life to housing,” Brown said. “She’s helped people get opportunity to live decent lives in clean, affordable, safe housing.”
David Dworkin, president and CEO of the National Housing Conference, applauded Gordon’s confirmation.
“Julia Gordon brings deep experience to address the significant challenges that face FHA,” he said. “If we are going to succeed in closing the racial homeownership gap, FHA must be in the forefront. Through her leadership of the National Community Stabilization Trust, she has a nuanced understanding of local housing markets and how they can function sustainably even when under stress. She also has the skills, experience, and relationships to bring people together, both within FHA and among stakeholders, to address challenges collaboratively and effectively.”
Lisa Rice, president and CEO of the National Fair Housing Alliance, also expressed her support following the vote.
“We need Ms. Gordon’s principled leadership at this critical moment as our nation faces rising housing costs and shortages, lack of credit for small-dollar mortgages, continuing inequality, and increasing interest rates that impact consumers’ ability to access affordable housing and credit,” she said. “Ms. Gordon has the expertise, discernment, and depth of knowledge needed to effectively manage FHA’s broad housing portfolio, and we are confident she will ensure the agency lives up to its purpose of helping expand homeownership and housing security for everyone.”
Bob Broeksmit, president and CEO of the MBA, added that he also looks forward to working with her.
“Her knowledge and experience in housing policy and community development will serve her well as she leads FHA’s mission to support homeownership opportunities for low- and moderate-income and minority borrowers in underserved communities, as well as increasing affordable rental housing,” he said in a statement.