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MortgagePoint » Your Trusted Source for Mortgage Banking and Servicing News 22 April 2023 C O V E R F E A T U R E CLOSING THE HOMEOWNERSHIP GAP Julia R. Gordon, Assistant Secretary for Housing and Federal Housing Commissioner of HUD, speaks to MortgagePoint about recent changes such as FHA's mortgage insurance premium reductions, an ongoing commitment to improving IT infrastructure, and how the arc of her career brought her to her current role. b y DAV I D W H A R T O N J ulia R. Gordon has served as the Assistant Secretary for Housing and Federal Housing Commissioner at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) since being confirmed by the U.S. Senate in May 2022. She came into the role at a time when the housing market and larger economy were still navigating aftershocks from a glob- al health crisis, while at the same time, low interest rates were fueling the market. For a long-time industry professional whose of- ficial bio describes her as "a strong advocate for and hands-on practitioner working to achieve equal justice, fairness and equity in housing, and consumer protections," there were challenges to face, certainly, but also opportunities for her to lean into the kind of meaningful work that has defined the arc of her career thus far. In her role at HUD and the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), Gordon helps oversee HUD's operations support- ing homebuyers, homeowners, renters, and communities alike. She is responsible for FHA's Single-Family, Multifamily, and Healthcare mortgage insurance programs, which together encompass more than 7.5 million homeowners, some 1.4 million rental households, and thousands of hospitals and residential care facilities. She also over- sees HUD's Multifamily assisted housing portfolio, which serves more than 1.2 million low-income households. Having begun her career as an attorney, Gordon's path to her current role took her through work with organizations such as the National Community Stabilization Trust (NCST), the Center for American Progress, the Center for Responsible Lending, and the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). Across these roles, she has been closely involved in grassroots efforts to shape mort- gage and housing finance laws, regulations, and programs to protect homeownership and family wealth, including the Dodd- Frank Wall Street Reform Act and the Mak- ing Home Affordable program. For our debut issue of MortgagePoint, we got the chance to speak with Commissioner Gordon about how she arrived in her current role, what she hopes to accomplish there, and where her focus and priorities are being directed. (Editor's note: Commissioner Gordon will also be delivering a keynote speech at Five Star's Government Forum event on April 11 at the National Press Club in Wash- ington, D.C. For more information, please visit Q: HUD recently marked a milestone of helping approximately two million homeowners with FHA mortgages stay in their homes via forbearances and loan modifications, as well as confirming that these options would be available for at least another 18 months from when that announcement was put out. Could you talk about some of the biggest lessons you've taken away from these programs and how they're helping D A V I D W H A R T O N , Editor-in-Chief at the Five Star Institute, is a graduate of the University of Texas at Arlington, where he received his B.A. in English and minored in journalism. Wharton has 20 years' experience in journalism and previously worked at Thomson Reuters, a multinational mass media and information firm, as Associate Content Editor, focusing on producing media content related to tax and accounting principles and government rules and regulations for accounting professionals. Wharton has an extensive and diversified portfolio of freelance material, with published contributions in both online and print media publications. He can be reached at david.

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