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Calabria sworn in as FHFA director


Mark Calabria, the new director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHA), proclaimed at his swearing-in ceremony Monday that “there is more work to do” when it comes to regulating the mortgage sector. 

“FHFA has made tremendous progress since its birth in 2008, a development I’ve continued to watch with great interest from the outside,” Calabria said. “It is my foremost objective to cement those gains. It is all too easy to watch regulatory improvements erode as the memory of the last crisis fades.”

Calabria said he accepts his new post with a “great sense of urgency,” adding that “the mortgage market was at the center of the last crisis” and that “the foundations of our current mortgage-finance system remain vulnerable.”

“After years of strong house-price growth, too many remain locked out of housing, while others are dangerously leveraged,” he said. “We must not let this opportunity for reform pass.”

He referenced President Donald Trump’s recent call to action for ending the conservatorship of government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, adding that he’s looking forward to working with the president on GSE reform.

Although he cited the human impact of a malfunctioning mortgage industry, he also conveyed optimism for a bright future.

“These are real lives we impact,” Calabria said, “and while I am, at heart, a numbers guy, we should never lose sight of the impact on families when mortgage finance goes wrong. Equally so, we should always take great pride in the impact of our work when mortgage finance goes right.

“When that new homeowner starts to build equity, build a better future for themselves, that is what the American Dream is about.”


 

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