Ohio congresswoman Marcia Fudge on Wednesday was confirmed by the Senate in a 66-34 vote as the new Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.
Fudge’s appointment and confirmation makes her the first Black woman to lead the HUD since Patricia R. Harris in 1979.
The Washington Post reports:
Fudge, who entered Congress in 2008, won bipartisan approval to lead the embattled agency where the morale among civil servants had plummeted under the leadership of Ben Carson, who eviscerated fair housing enforcement and other civil rights protections during the Trump administration.
Fudge, 68, said during her January confirmation hearing that her priorities include ending discriminatory housing practices as part of Biden’s focus on dismantling systemic racial injustice and boosting Black homeownership, a critical component in narrowing the racial wealth gap.
Biden has already signed executive orders undoing discrimination housing policies under President Donald Trump. As the new HUD secretary Fudge is expected to basically undo all of the racist policy under the Trump administration and reinstate “Obama-era regulation requiring communities to identify and address barriers to racial integration and disparities in access to transportation, jobs and good schools — or risk losing federal funding,” the Post reports.
Fudge’s immediate focus will be providing rental assistance to those who have lost their jobs because of the coronavirus pandemic and are at risk of being evicted, she told The Post.
“More than 11 million households are behind on rent, census data show. Almost 3 million homeowners are in forbearance, Fudge said; an additional 800,000 borrowers are delinquent. Families struggling to pay rent continue to be served with eviction notices despite the government’s extension of the eviction moratorium,” the Post reports.
Fudge, a former chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus, previously rewrote the history books as the first African American and first female mayor of Warrensville Heights, Ohio.