Utah State Treasurer David Damschen today announced his resignation as state treasurer effective April 30. The Utah Housing Corporation (UHC) Board of Trustees has selected him to succeed Grant Whitaker as president and CEO of UHC, where he will begin his service on May 3. Whitaker is retiring after 42 years with the organization, including 12 years at its helm.
UHC was created as a public corporation by state legislation in 1975 to provide affordable financing of single-family homes and apartments for people of low and moderate income. Receiving no taxpayer appropriated money, the organization provides financing and down payment assistance to homebuyers and resources to developers building or renovating affordable apartment projects.
“While Utah Housing’s mission has remained unchanged, the activities surrounding that mission have evolved. We have stretched limited resources and identified new means to serve a population that continues to grow,” Whitaker said. “Immediately after I was selected as the president and CEO, America entered into the Great Recession. My team implemented programs and changes that enabled us to not only weather that storm but to build a stronger and more nimble entity that provides Utahns more diverse types of financial assistance.”
Under Whitaker’s leadership, UHC has evolved to meet the challenges of a dynamic Utah housing market by providing diverse financing programs. These include homeownership programs like FirstHome, which offers a second mortgage loan for a homebuyer’s down payment, and HomeAgain, which was created to help previous homeowners buy another home with down payment assistance. UHC has also been active in the financing of special needs housing, such as permanent supportive housing that provides robust on-site services for people with addictions, psychiatric disabilities and domestic-abuse victims who would otherwise be homeless.
“While leaving brings on mixed emotions, I know Utah Housing is in good hands with David and a proven team of professionals,” Whitaker said.
Damschen has served as state treasurer for more than five years and served as chief deputy state treasurer for seven years prior to assuming office.
“I am grateful for the opportunity I have had to serve as treasurer of our great state. It has been an honor and a privilege to work alongside other state leaders to ensure Utah remains a leader in the nation for its broad fiscal and economic strength, to provide resources to empower Utahns to achieve financial and economic success and to protect individual property rights,” Damschen said. “While I am sad to leave the office, I am equally excited for the opportunity to continue my public service by joining the outstanding team at Utah Housing to help address the critical and growing problem of housing affordability in Utah. That mission is as important now as ever given the state’s affordable housing crisis.”
“We are incredibly grateful for Grant’s service to Utah Housing over the last four decades. Under his leadership, the Utah Housing team has developed and implemented innovative programs to address the housing needs of many Utahns who otherwise would not have access to affordable housing opportunities,” UHC Board of Trustees Chair Lerron Little said. “We look forward to working with David, as we usher in a new era and work to alleviate the barriers to affordable housing the current market presents to low and moderate income Utahns.”
Gov. Spencer Cox will appoint an acting treasurer who will serve temporarily following Damschen’s departure until a new state treasurer is appointed for the remainder of Damschen’s term, which ends in 2024.
The Utah Republican Party’s State Central Committee will first nominate three candidates to replace Damschen, and Gov. Cox will then choose one of those nominees as Utah’s next state treasurer.