July 9, 2014 / 4:35 PM / 4 years ago

U.S. Senate confirms Julian Castro as housing secretary

WASHINGTON, July 9 (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate on Wednesday confirmed Julian Castro to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development, placing the San Antonio, Texas mayor at the top of the agency at a time when the housing sector is recovering sluggishly.

Castro, a Democrat who was nominated by President Barack Obama, was confirmed on a roll call vote in the Democratic-led Senate. He will replace Shaun Donovan, who has been tapped to lead the White House’s Office of Management and Budget.

Castro has been hailed for revitalizing downtown San Antonio and for other development programs in the city. He is expected to push the Obama administration’s plan to shutter mortgage finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac , an effort that has so far stalled in Congress. (Reporting by Elvina Nawaguna; Editing by Paul Simao)

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