Steven C. Preston, President Bush’s nominee to be Housing and Urban Development Secretary, seems to be on the way to Senate banking committee approval, judging from lawmakers’ positive comments at his May 22 confirmation hearing.

Preston has led the Small Business Administration since July 2006 and had been executive vice president at ServiceMaster Co. Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) said he was concerned that Preston lacks a housing background, but told him, “I’m very hopeful that you’ll have what it takes to begin to address the major challenges at HUD and the larger housing market.” A committee vote could come in June. If confirmed, Preston would replace Alphonso Jackson, who left the top HUD post in April.