The U.S. Senate on Thursday voted for Adrianne Todman as the new Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), holding a much-needed leadership position at the Department under the administration of President Joe Biden and HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge.
Todman who was nominated from President Biden for the March position, brings a wealth of housing experience to number two in the ministry. Most recently, she served as Chief Executive Officer of the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO) and joined the organization in 2017.
First experiences in living
Previously, Todman was the Executive Director of the District of Columbia Housing Authority (DCHA), an organization tasked with providing affordable housing that provides subsidized housing to approximately 50,000 residents, nearly 10% of the DC population
Prior to DCHA, Todman held a number of career positions at HUD, including director of the Department’s $ 500 million grant competition aimed at the rehabilitation of certain public housing developments and policy advisor to the Public and Indian Housing Bureau. like in the secretary’s office, where she helped streamline the department’s operational implementations.
Todman, who was born and raised in the US Virgin Islands, began her political career as the legislative director of Rep. Ron de Lugo, who himself served as the first US Virgin Islands delegate to the United States House of Representatives, a position he served from 1973 through 1995 serving for two non-consecutive terms.
Todman’s previous experience should be useful in her new role. Deputy HUD Secretary essentially acts as Chief Operating Officer of the HUD with responsibility for personnel and administrative matters; managing HUD facilities across the country; and the day-to-day administration of the department, while Secretary Fudge will focus on more general policy priorities; Relationships with state and local government agencies and communication with the White House.
Messages of support
Both the National Housing Conference (NHC) and the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association (NRMLA) have issued messages of support to Assistant Secretary Todman and congratulate them on her approval.
“Adrianne Todman brings the perfect combination of policy, operational and field experience to this role,” said David M. Dworkin, President and CEO of NHC, in a statement. “She is a proven leader who understands the importance of working together on common sense solutions to the complex problems our nation faces when it comes to housing and community investments. NHC and its members look forward to working with Deputy Secretary Todman. “
NRMLA President Steve Irwin also congratulated the new Assistant Secretary on her confirmation.
“NRMLA congratulates Assistant Secretary Todman on her confirmation Thursday,” Irwin said in an email to RMD. “Her profound expertise in affordable housing will certainly help advance the department’s mission. We wish her all the best.”
Further positions are still to be filled
While the appointment of Assistant Secretary Todman is a much-needed addition to the HUD leadership team, there are still a number of necessary executive positions within the Biden / Fudge HUD that require attention. The most important of these, with particular relevance to the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) program, is the position of Federal Housing Administration (FHA) commissioner, which remains vacant, according to the HUD website.
Previously, career HUD officer was Janet Golrick listed listed as Acting FHA Commissioner on official documents, but her name is no longer listed by that title, and the most recent Mortgagee Letter (ML) guide was instead signed by Lopa Kolluri, the Assistant Assistant Secretary in the FHA’s Office of Housing.
In addition, the HUD does not currently have a deputy chief of staff, a deputy general counsel, an assistant secretary for congressional and interstate relations, and a chief information officer. Previously, Secretary Fudge spent a year dealing with staff shortages at the HUD press conference at the White House in March, saying President Biden is aware of staffing issues and filling required roles in the ministry is a priority.
“We thousands of people are no longer where we should be,” said Fudge in the White House. “Our people are great: they’re understaffed, understaffed, and overworked. But we’re going to make some important changes, and very quickly. The [American] Rescue Plan enables us to do things that we might not have been able to do without it. So I am particularly pleased that the President had the vision and vision to give us a historic, perhaps once in a lifetime, opportunity to change the housing system in this country. “