In Conversation with U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Marcia Fudge

On Thursday, April 29, we hosted our last Fair Housing event of the month, featuring a fireside chat with U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Marcia Fudge. She discussed what HUD has accomplished in the first 100 days of the Biden Presidency and how she plans to help facilitate homeownership and Fair Housing.

HUD Achievements In The First 100 Days

President Biden recently addressed the country during a speech to Congress, which marked his first 100 days in office. What does Secretary Fudge think HUD’s biggest achievements in this time have been? Number one was passing the American Rescue Plan to address the COVID crisis. Through this plan, $10 billion was provided to homeowners who were behind on mortgage payments due to COVID-19 hardships. In addition, $5 billion has been put towards addressing homelessness and $5 billion is being used to address affordable housing. HUD also has been working in a variety of ways to address Fair Housing. “That’s something that’s at the top of my list,” Secretary Fudge added. “We’ve done an awful lot in the past 100 days, and I wasn’t even here for the full 100 days,” Secretary Fudge said.

HUD’s Plans for the Future

HUD is looking at ways to address homeownership, and ways to get more people into homes. They are looking at the appraisal process, alternative credit score options, down payment assistance and student loan debt. “I am determined that HUD is going to take the lead in making sure that the systemic racism that has permeated every agency in this country is addressed and it is rooted out. We’re going to make sure that we make homeownership a reality for a lot of people who can afford it, but who have been excluded based on arbitrary kinds of things,” Secretary Fudge said. HUD’s other big area of focus is the lack of affordable and moderate-income housing. President Biden’s recently announced American Jobs Plan includes $200 million for creating and preserving affordable housing. “It is our job to make sure that we put in place the resources to make sure we have vouchers, we have resources to build new housing…and the biggest problem we find…is issues with zoning, to find resources and places to build new housing,” Secretary Fudge said. “I think we have a real shot in making a difference in it.”

Parting Advice

Before signing off, Secretary Fudge left attendees with some powerful parting advice. “If you take care of the people, the people will take care of you. If you are good at what you do, and you care about people, the word spreads,” she said. “If you just do the right thing, people will always be appreciative of the work you do.”

Watch the full event video below: