August 05, 2021

Brown: These HUD Nominees Stand Ready to Address Our Nation’s Housing Crisis

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, delivered the following opening statement at today’s nominations hearing for Julia Gordon, David Uejio, and Solomon Greene to be Assistant Secretaries of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Sen. Brown’s remarks, as prepared for delivery, follow:

Today, we will consider three nominations for critical roles at the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Julia Gordon has been nominated to serve as Assistant Secretary of Housing and Commissioner of the Federal Housing Administration.

Ms. Gordon currently serves as president of the National Community Stabilization Trust, a nonprofit organization that supports neighborhood revitalization and affordable homeownership.  

Previously, Ms. Gordon served as the manager of the single-family policy team at the Federal Housing Finance Agency, working to help families stay in their homes following the 2008 financial crisis.  

If confirmed, Ms. Gordon would lead the Federal Housing Administration, or FHA. As Commissioner of FHA, Ms. Gordon would play a pivotal role in helping thousands of homeowners weather this pandemic and stay in their homes. 

Welcome, Ms. Gordon.

David Uejio is the President’s nominee to serve as Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity.

Mr. Uejio currently serves as Acting Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Previously, Mr. Uejio served in different roles in public service at NIH, OPM, and DOD. 

As Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, Mr. Uejio would oversee the implementation and enforcement of laws that protect homeowners and renters from housing discrimination.

We are glad to have you here today, Mr. Uejio.

Finally, we welcome Mr. Solomon Greene. Mr. Greene is the President’s nominee to serve as Assistant Secretary for Policy Development and Research. 

Mr. Greene currently serves as a senior fellow at the Urban Institute, where he leads research into fair housing, and how we lift up all residents by creating economic growth in our communities. 

Mr. Greene previously served as Senior Advisor at HUD, a litigation associate at a major law firm, and an adjunct professor at NYU’s Wagner Graduate School of Public Service.

As the head of Policy Development and Research, Mr. Greene will lead HUD’s research and provide data on housing and community development issues that will help inform policy decisions.

These nominees have strong records in housing policy and management. They will bring their breadth of experience to HUD at a time when our country needs it most. 

That’s what our hearing should focus on today. So I’m disappointed that the Ranking Member has instead decided to attack these public servants and spread misinformation. 

These nominees have already responded to Senator Toomey – they did it on Monday, and their own words made it clear they support the police. Every Democrat in the Senate, and President Biden, all supported the American Rescue Plan, which provided critical funding to local police departments – because of course we support the police. I’m disappointed the Ranking Member continues to act otherwise.

I wish my Republican colleagues would put as much effort into bringing down the cost of housing for families as they do into this political theatre.

The Ohioans I talk to are exhausted by this kind of division and distraction.

And they’re certainly not worried about some retweet from a year ago. People want to know what we’re going to do—those in government, and those in Congress – to make their lives better.

Today’s nominees have been selected to provide their expertise at important agencies that are doing real work – work that has the potential to bring down people’s rents, and to help more families get a mortgage for their first home and join the middle class.

And unlike many of the unqualified nominees in the previous administration that came before this Committee, today’s nominees have the experience and preparation to make real progress. 

I want to know today from these nominees – what will they do to make it easier for Ohioans and people around the country to afford a home? What will they do to root out discrimination in housing? What will they do to find creative solutions to the housing challenges families face in communities large and small, urban and rural?

Let’s do our jobs today, and focus on the results Americans care about, and expect from their public servants.

Thank you to all of these nominees for your willingness to serve.

I look forward to your testimonies today. 

I’d like to enter into the record letters of support that the Committee has received for the nominees, including:

  • Letters in support of Ms. Gordon from 115 supporters, including MBA, the Realtors, Housing Policy Council, the National Multifamily Housing Council, and the National Fair Housing Alliance; 
  • Letters in support of Mr. Uejio from 40 organizations including the Japanese American Citizens League, National Association of American Veterans, and the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights; and 
  • Letters in support of Mr. Greene from 31 organizations, including the Realtors, the Council of Large Public Housing Authorities, and the National League of Cities.