Jennifer Emerling / There Is More Work To Be Done

Proposal to Move RHS to HUD

Trevino repeats opposition to proposal

At a September 13, 2011 hearing before the House Agriculture Committee’s Rural Development subcommittee, rural housing administrator Tammye Trevino was asked about the proposal to move USDA’s Rural Housing Service to HUD. She made clear that the move was not proposed by the Administration and that the Administration opposed it.

Second Hearing held on proposal to move RHS to HUD

On September 8, 2011 the House Financial Services Committee’s housing subcommittee held its second hearing on the draft bill that would move USDA’s Rural Housing Service (RHS) to HUD. The bill, which would also make changes to the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and Ginnie Mae, has not yet been introduced.

At the first hearing on May 25, 2011 Peter Carey testified for HAC, Self-Help Enterprises, and the National Rural Housing Coalition, opposing the move. The other witnesses at that hearing represented a variety of nonprofit and for-profit entities, most of them interested in FHA issues. The September 8 hearing featured agency representatives. Trevino Trevino, RHS Administrator, was one of the witnesses, along with Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Carol Galante from HUD/FHA, and Theodore Tozer from Ginnie Mae.

Both Tammye Trevino and Carol Galante testified against the move to HUD. Tammye described RHS’s knowledge of rural issues and its field network of rural offices. She pointed out that RHS, HUD, and other agencies are already working together to “align” their rental programs by using common forms, accepting each other’s inspections, and the like, and she mentioned that a similar effort for homeownership programs is now getting started. Tozer and Isakson focused their testimony on different issues, not mentioning RHS at all.

A number of committee and subcommittee members came in for at least part of the hearing. Subcommittee chair Judy Biggert (R-IL) asked Trevino about RHS’s institutional knowledge. Rep. Ruben Hinojosa (D-TX) thanked Trevino for her work to improve rural housing, but did not ask her any questions. The rest of the members asked questions of the other witnesses on other topics, such as how big FHA’s role in the mortgage market should be, whether Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac should be phased out, and how to help struggling homeowners.

Posted: September 9, 2011
Last updated: September 13, 2011