WASHINGTON — One of Julian Castro's early challenges as head of the Department of Housing and Urban Development likely will be how he handles industry calls to lower Federal Housing Administration premiums.

The San Antonio mayor, who won Senate confirmation Wednesday as the new HUD secretary, is bound to face lobbying from banking and housing groups that view lowering FHA premiums as the answer to improving loan affordability. (He was confirmed by a vote of 71 to 26.)

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