Marcia Fudge Confirmed as First Black Woman to Lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development in 40 Years

Rep Marcia Fudge (D-OH).
Rep Marcia Fudge (D-OH).
Photo: Alex Wong (Getty Images)

It’s official: Marcia Fudge has been confirmed as the new Secretary of Housing and Urban Development by a Senate vote of 66-34.

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While she was only confirmed Wednesday and has yet to take office, Marcia Fudge has already done more than Ben Carson, the former head of HUD by just staying awake for a full eight hours.

Fudge’s appointment and confirmation make her the first Black woman to lead the embattled agency in 40 years.

From the Washington Post:

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 told the Post that her 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.

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“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, was the first African American and first female mayor of Warrensville Heights, Ohio.

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Her parting goodbye to her life in Congress was voting to pass the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill, which, the Post notes will contain more than $20 million in rental assistance. Fudge will then resign her seat on Wednesday and will be sworn in at 5 p.m. Wednesday as the secretary of HUD in a “virtual ceremony from her Warrensville Heights home, with her 89-year old mother by her side.”

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