Deb Still Appointed to the Federal Advisory Committee on Affordable, Equitable & Sustainable Housing

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Courtesy of: Federal Housing Finance Agency

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) recently announced Debra W. Still, Vice Chair, Pulte Mortgage, as an inaugural member of the Advisory Committee on Affordable, Equitable, and Sustainable Housing. The Committee will provide non-binding advice to FHFA on how its regulated entities (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Home Loan Banks) can best serve as a reliable and responsible source of liquidity and funding for housing finance and community investment, including both single-family and multifamily housing.

“I thank the Committee members for their willingness to share their deep housing expertise with FHFA,” said Director Sandra L. Thompson. “The wide-ranging factors driving the nation’s housing affordability challenges will be best identified and addressed with perspectives anchored in on-the-ground experience.”

FHFA publicly sought representatives from various fields to focus on an array of housing topics, including fair housing, tenant advocacy, single-family and multifamily lending and servicing, affordable housing development, capital markets, and technology.

Each Committee meeting will better inform FHFA’s policy development, rulemaking, and community and public engagement functions as described in the Committee’s charter. The Committee is advisory in nature with members serving a term of two years. The Committee will convene for its first meeting this fall.

Get to Know Deb

Q: Can you provide a summary of your career and your work in the affordable housing space?

Deb: I am fortunate to have been with PulteGroup for 41 years. I began as a Pulte Mortgage Branch Manager in Maryland and Texas. From there I became a Pulte Mortgage Area Manager, then COO of Pulte Mortgage and ultimately CEO. I am currently the Vice Chair with affordable housing as a key focus. In the industry space, I was the 2013 Chairman of the Mortgage Bankers Association and during the housing crisis and worked with regulators during the creation of the Dodd Frank rules. I also worked with the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) to help craft, warrant reform, and address consumer access to credit challenges. I have also served several terms and currently serve on MBA’s Advisory Council on Affordable Homeownership, MBA’s Consumer Affairs Advisory Council, and Board of Directors.

Q: What does the appointment on the Advisory Committee on Affordable, Equitable, and Sustainable Housing mean to you?

Deb: I believe solving the pressing issues of affordable and equitable housing is vital to the future of housing and our nation’s well-being. As a real estate finance professional and long-time advocate for affordable, responsible, and sustainable housing solutions, I am eager to contribute my expertise and dedication to furthering the Committee’s mission. With more than 40 years of experience helping consumers attain the dream of homeownership, I have a keen sense of the importance of “home.” 

Today, affordability is a steep challenge for too many Americans, and inequitable barriers to homeownership still exist for many more. Owning a home brings so many benefits: building household wealth; increasing intergenerational economic mobility; offering a hedge against inflation; and increasing safety, health, and civic engagement. At this point in my career, as I aspire to “give back” in every way I can, I have made it the focus of my current role as Vice Chair to find ways of helping more people realize these benefits. Representing PulteGroup as one of the nation’s largest homebuilders, is an honor and a privilege.  

Q: What is your role on the committee and how will you help advance affordable housing?

Deb: FHFA’s Advisory Committee will be a critical source of thoughtful, real-world insight and deliberation on removing barriers to affordable, equitable, and sustainable home ownership. I have a strong commitment to social equity and responsible lending, which aligns with the Committee’s objectives. Through collaborative effort and innovative thinking, I know we can make real progress in these areas, I will add perspective on the realities of the business along with practical, responsible, and actionable ideas for consideration. Having overseen mortgage lending, title insurance and property and casualty insurance as a part of a homebuilding company provides me with a broad view and deep resources which can add significant value to the Committee’s efforts. I have also worked directly with the GSEs, federal regulators, consumer advocacy groups and other Washington, D.C. decision makers to help America’s housing and real estate finance needs.

Q: What is the current status of Pulte’s affordable housing initiatives? 

Deb: I am very proud to work for a company committed to Affordable Housing. PulteGroup CEO, Ryan Marshall, has set a visionary goal that 1% of all our homes qualify as affordable. Numerous divisions are focused on delivering against that goal. There has been extraordinary work done in the Southeast Florida Division. Pulte Mortgage has designed and delivered a PulteGroup affordable housing grant program called Hope to Home which helps first-time homebuyers overcome the cash-to-close barrier in PulteGroup neighborhoods that are in majority/minority census tracts. The PulteGroup architectural team has designed several new floorplans targeted at affordability. Lastly, one of the PulteGroup DEI Governance Board Committees is dedicated solely to Affordable Housing.

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