The Governor has appointed a new director for the Iowa Finance Authority, an agency that’s supposed to help build new housing in Iowa. The Finance Authority and an off-shoot,the Iowa Housing Corporation, have been under fire from critics who say the agencies don’t spend enough money on housing. Governor Vilsack has named Mike Tramontina to direct the agency. Tramontina, a mortgage banker and one-time deputy state treasurer, has been regional director of the U-S Department of Housing and Urban Development since 1997.Vilsack wants Tramontina to develop a long-range housing plan for the state. He says the state doesn’t have that and it’s hard to tell what the state, local investors and federal government are all doing.Vilsack hopes to find financial incentives which convince contractors to build small, affordable houses in rural areas.Tramontina is a native of Sioux City. Tramontina was Iowa campaign director for Democrat Presidential Michael Dukakis in 1988 — Iowa was among the few states Dukakis won that year.
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