Home National news Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia Fudge announces retirement

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia Fudge announces retirement

Official portrait of Marcia Fudge, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (photo courtesy of U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development).

Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Marcia Fudge, a former Congressional Black Caucus Chair and a staunch advocate for the Black Press of America, has announced that she’s stepping down from her role in the Biden-Harris administration.

The 71-year-old Fudge disclosed that her last day in office would be March 22. After decades of public service, she’ll return to her home state of Ohio.

“It’s time to go home,” she told USA TODAY. “I do believe strongly that I have done just about everything I could do at HUD for this administration as we go into this crazy, silly season of an election.”

Fudge, the second Black woman to lead HUD, has been a key figure in steering the agency through housing crises triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic. She has also pushed for the federal government to include the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA), on behalf of the Black Press of America, in its advertising spend.

“The NNPA salutes and forthrightly acknowledges the leadership, service, and commitment of the Honorable Marcia L. Fudge as the accomplished Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD),” NNPA President/CEO Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. “The Black Press of America expresses our gratitude to Secretary Fudge in particular for helping tens of thousands of underserved Americans to increase their opportunities to become homeowners.”

Fudge’s departure comes amid the intensifying campaign season, with President Joe Biden facing off against the twice-impeached and four-times indicted Republican former President Donald Trump.

“It is not a red or blue issue,” Fudge said. Everybody knows that it is an issue, so it’s not one-sided. It’s an American issue.”

Despite her efforts to enhance HUD’s role in supporting families with housing needs, addressing homelessness, and fostering economic development, Fudge expressed concerns about inadequate funding. She highlighted the need for more than $70 billion to address the demand for affordable housing and repair aging public housing developments.

President Biden echoed Fudge’s call for bipartisan attention to affordable housing in a statement: “A fair housing market and access to quality and affordable housing are critical to the fulfillment of the American dream, and no one understands that better than Secretary Marcia L. Fudge,” Biden said.

Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) Chair Steven Horsford (D-Nevada) and other Caucus members praised Fudge’s leadership and decades of service.

“Since her confirmation in March of 2021, Secretary Fudge has worked tirelessly to provide access to safe and affordable housing to millions of American families, with a particular focus on racial equity and addressing the gap in Black homeownership,” the CBC’s statement read. “Under her leadership, the agency has supported nearly a quarter of a million Black people in purchasing a home and has taken significant steps to root out racial bias in the home appraisal process. She leaves her mark on the agency as a passionate leader, the first African American woman to lead the department in decades, and only the second in our nation’s history.”

Biden praised Fudge’s leadership, her dedication to rebuilding HUD, and her expanding efforts to build generational wealth through homeownership. He expressed gratitude for her contributions and wished her well in her next chapter as she transitions from public service to private life.

“Under Marcia’s transformational leadership, we have worked hard to lower housing costs and increase supply,” Biden said. “We’ve proposed the largest investment in affordable housing in U.S. history. We’ve taken steps to aggressively combat racial discrimination in housing by ensuring home appraisals are more fair and by strengthening programs to redress the negative impacts of redlining. Thanks to Secretary Fudge, we’ve helped first-time homebuyers, and we are working to cut the cost of renting. And there are more housing units under construction right now than at any time in the last 50 years.”

For her part, Fudge said she’s simply done with politics. “Don’t look for me to ever be on another ballot or another appointee or anything like that,” she insisted. “I really do look forward to being a private citizen.”

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