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Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia Fudge announced that she will retire and leave the department on March 22, 2024. 

“The people HUD serves are those who are often left out and left behind,” Fudge, who is 71, said in a statement. “These are my people. They serve as my motivation for everything we have been able to accomplish.”

President Biden praised her work, saying, “She has been a strong voice for expanding efforts to build generational wealth through homeownership and lowering costs and promoting fairness for America’s renters.”

Fudge assumed leadership HUD in 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic deepened the shortage of affordable housing, a condition that was already dire. The threat of eviction during the pandemic made it clear that rent was unaffordable for millions of Americans. 

During her tenure, HUD also:

  • Served the nation’s neediest renters with direct assistance and focused on safety and performance of HUD-assisted apartments
  • Built and rehabilitated tens of thousands of new for-sale and rental homes through the HOME block grant and FHA multifamily insurance programs
  • Launched new programs, including HOME-ARP and Emergency Housing Vouchers, to address the crisis of homelessness
  • Extended the FHA – Federal Financing Bank Risk-Sharing Program, through which HFAs will create and preserve thousands of affordable apartments where they are needed most.

Fudge told reporters that she’s most proud of helping 1.5 million people buy homes for the first time as the agency allowed rental history to play a greater role in a person’s credit score and it changed the way it evaluated student loan debt to make it easier to get a federally backed mortgage.

Fudge also praised the agency’s focus on helping Black and Hispanic renters become homeowners. And she noted that under her leadership, the agency awarded an additional 120,000 federal housing vouchers, the largest increase in two decades. Some vouchers were specifically to help people experiencing homelessness move quickly into shelter. 

Fudge told USA Today that homelessness in a country as rich as the U.S. is a “tragedy,” and lamented the chronic lack of funding for HUD, noting it needs more than $70 billion but was budgeted just over $3 billion. Unlike food and healthcare, housing assistance is not an entitlement, and only 1 in 4 people who qualify for a subsidy can actually get it. 

“We’re making incremental changes, but we need to make bigger changes and we need to make them faster,” she told the newspaper.

At this point there’s no news regarding when President Biden president would nominate a replacement.

Joe Miksch is the Public Relations and Marketing Manager for US Housing Consultants.