HUD secretary Fudge announces plans to resign

Longtime public servant was also U.S. representative for Ohio from 2008 to 2021

Marcia Fudge, who has been serving as the United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development since 2021, has announced her intention to resign, effective March 22.

The announcement essentially amounts to retirement for Fudge, 71, who has spent almost five decades in public service. Fudge, a Democrat, also served in the House of Representatives for Ohio’s 11th congressional district from 2008 to 2021. She succeeded Stephanie Tubbs Jones in the post after Jones’ death in 2008, running unopposed in the special election to replace her; Fudge had previously served as Jones’ chief of staff during the latter’s first term in the House.

Fudge’s tenure at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) was notable for the challenges foisted on the housing market by the COVID-19 pandemic. She was sworn in virtually by Vice President Kamala Harris after she was confirmed by the Senate in a vote that included 16 Republicans breaking party ranks to support her candidacy.

“It has always been my belief that government can and should work for the people,” said Fudge in a statement. “For the last three years, I have fully embraced HUD’s mission to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. The people HUD serves are those who are often left out and left behind. These are my people. They serve as my motivation for everything we have been able to accomplish.”

Biden praised Fudge’s work at HUD in his own statement, 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.”

Several officials within the housing and mortgage industries also heaped praise at Fudge for her distinguished service.

Courtney Johnson Rose, president of the National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB), lauded Fudge for her work combating bias within housing.

“As a champion of racial equity, Secretary Fudge has tirelessly advocated policies to eliminate systemic housing discrimination and reduce the racial wealth gap, a cause also championed by NAREB,” Rose said. “I personally thank Secretary Fudge on behalf of the NAREB and the millions of Americans her efforts have impacted. During her tenure, she helped more than two million families stay in their homes and avoid foreclosure, removed barriers for people with student loan debt trying to buy a home with an FHA mortgage, and ensured that positive rental history plays a more significant role in determining creditworthiness when trying to obtain a home loan.”

David M. Dworkin, president and CEO of the National Housing Conference, called Fudge “a highly consequential HUD secretary” and said that her tenure “surpassed all expectations, including her own.”

“Throughout her leadership, Secretary Fudge has been a steadfast advocate for equitable housing policies, championing initiatives aimed at alleviating homelessness, expanding access to affordable housing, and fostering sustainable communities,” Dworkin said. “During the pandemic, HUD’s actions helped hundreds of thousands of people who she will never know but who will never forget what was done for their families.”

Bob Broeksmit, president and CEO of the Mortgage Bankers Association, lauded her for her stewardship of HUD throughout the tumultuous aftermath of the pandemic.

“We commend Secretary Fudge and her staff for their contributions on numerous issues, including working with the industry to ensure struggling borrowers could remain in their homes through COVID-19 forbearance relief and other loss mitigation reforms, making homeownership more affordable by lowering mortgage insurance premiums, increasing multifamily large loan limits for the first time in nearly a decade, and implementing improvements to existing HUD programs to boost single-family and multifamily housing supply,” Broeksmit said.

The White House announced that President Biden will nominate a replacement, and Deputy Secretary Adrianne Todman will serve as acting secretary until a new permanent HUD secretary is named.


More Headlines