President Joe Biden has nominated Ohio Rep. Marcia Fudge for Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.
“My priority as secretary would be to alleviate that crisis and get people the support they need to come back from the edge,” Fudge said.
The Congressional Black Caucus’s former chairwoman plans to play an influential role in advocating for rental assistance and affordable housing. The push will potentially prevent millions of Americans from losing their homes. The congresswoman previously served on the Subcommittees on Civil Rights and Human Services.
On Thursday, the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs held a 75-minute hearing on her nomination. Republican senators chastised Fudge on her advocacy for black political matters. The GOP reps. accused her of “dismissing the party’s concern for Black Americans.”
Sen. Tom Cotton attempted to undermine fudge by using Biden’s domestic policy. The legislation has a strong focus on racial equity. Cotton sarcastically requested for Fudge to define the difference between racial equity and racial equality.
“From my perspective, the difference is one means you treat everybody the same. Sometimes the same is not equitable. Equity means making the playing field level. The same is not always fair. It’s like us being in a race with people who already have a head start,” Fudge said.
According to Pew Research Center, 46% of Black families own their homes, a strikingly low number compared to the 76% of White families who own their homes. Fudge plans to create opportunities for homeownership and generational wealth.
“Boosting Black homeownership will require us to end discriminatory practices in the housing market, and ensure that our fair housing rules are doing what they are supposed to do. Opening the door for families, especially families of color who have been systematically kept in the cold across generations, to buy homes and punch their ticket to the middle class,” Fudge said
“The government should directly address the racial wealth gap by offering down payment assistance to residents of previously redlined neighborhoods, given that coming up with cash for down payments is the biggest impediment for Black homeownership,” Fudge said. “It’s like us being in a race with people who already have a head start.”
As HUD Secretary, Fudge is expected to reinstate a 2013 rule that barred the housing industry from enacting policies that harm Black and Latino Americans. The Trump administration issued a new rule last year that housing advocates said would make it harder to prove such forms of bias.