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Carol Galante, a thought leader in affordable and multifamily housing circles, was named deputy assistant secretary of multifamily housing at HUD. Galante, most recently president of San Francisco-based BRIDGE Housing Corp., will be responsible for managing HUD’s financing support for the development and preservation of a $58 billion portfolio of rental housing. She also will be integral to several new sustainable development initiatives. Here, Galante shares her thoughts on how multifamily housing programs can help resolve the country’s housing crisis.

Q What are some of the steps HUD can take to attend to the multifamilyaffordability issues?

A HUD has already started by ensuring that, as part of the stimulus package, Section 8 was fully funded for the first time in a number of years. There is an ongoing commitment to ensuring that the program works to play a role in the broader multifamily development and refinancing [arenas].

Q What role will you play in supporting LIHTCs, particularly in combination with HUD financing programs?

A Part of the administration’s overall goal is to work across silos, and the Secretary is looking to me to be involved in working with the Treasury to make sure that the HUD programs can work effectively within the tax credit program, which frankly has not been the case historically.

Q How will green building fit into HUD’s ongoing policy objectives?

A We need to look at climate change issues, and existing buildings clearly have an impact. There are a number of initiatives surrounding that, including making existing rental stock more energy-efficient and pushing forward budget proposals to encourage new development that is transit-oriented and infill in nature.

Q What are your long-term goals and objectives?

A I hope that HUD will be collaborating with local governments and lending partners and developers and meshing with all of the other tools that exist for the success of multifamily housing. I hope that we could create a more seamless and less siloed support for multifamily. That’s the No. 1 accomplishment I’d like to see. Very close behind that is to take the concept embedded in the Hope VI program and get rid of the negative legacy of some of the old housing stock by rejuvenating it back into healthy communities.