HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge’s agenda targets homelessness and homeownership

The former Ohio congresswoman expects to get 130,000 homeless people off the nation's streets within 12 months

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Homelessness has hit a new high in the nation according to a new housing report confirming 580,000 people are without shelter in the country. 

During a visit at the White House on Thursday, the newly confirmed HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge answered questions from the press.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki Holds Daily Briefing With HUD Secretary Fudge
Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Marcia Fudge speaks during the daily press briefing at the White House on March 18, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Read More: Marcia Fudge’s HUD nomination is a win for Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

During the question and answer session, Secretary Fudge revealed President Joe Biden’s priority for the Department of Housing and Urban Development in the first 100 days will focus on homelessness, vouchers and the expansion and addition of new affordable housing.

Fudge said the American Rescue Plan and the $40 billion earmarked for HUD will be a great help. 

Within that funding is $5 billion specifically earmarked to address homeless issues.   

The former Ohio congresswoman said she is expecting to get 130,000 homeless people off the nation’s streets within 12 months.

A railroad bridge provides an extra level protection from the elements for the dozens of men and women living there in tents and where health officials say that people living with homelessness are at higher risk of contracting the coronavirus March 27, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Another urgent matter is the current moratorium on evictions. Secretary Fudge said the HUD moratorium on evictions “expires June 30,” however, the CDC is “trying to determine an appropriate way forward.” 

Another immediate housing concern is the increasing price of homeownership. Fudge explained the average price of homes is higher and the “inventory is much less” than hoped. One of the major problems, she noted, is that “credit is not available and accessible for people who do actually qualify.”

Fudge says, since FHA is in her purview they will work with issues of “restructuring,” “access to credit,” and the “down payment” as part of the solution for this issue. 

Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Marcia Fudge speaks during the daily press briefing at the White House on March 18, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

“We’re gonna make sure people who qualify have access to credit,” she added.

During her 13 minutes at the White House podium, Fudge acknowledged that she shares the same vision as President Biden to include in this plan policies aimed at closing the racial wealth gap “which is bigger today than it was 50 years ago.“

Secretary Fudge is pushing to do the work to fix the numerous housing issues plaguing the nation.  However, the task will not be easy as she acknowledged a staffing shortage, saying the department is thousands of people short of where it should be. 

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