After three years leading the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Secretary Marcia Fudge announced her resignation. Fudge, 71, cited a desire to retire from public service and return home to Ohio as the main reasons for stepping down.

Fudge has dedicated nearly five decades to serving the public, including over a decade in Congress representing Ohio’s 11th district. Appointed as Secretary of HUD in 2021, Fudge became the second Black woman to helm the agency.

Secretary Marcia Fudge Steps Down

HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge announced she is stepping down from her position this month. After decades serving the public, including over 10 years in Congress, she says she is retiring and returning home to Ohio.

Source: Wikimedia/AFGE

During her three years leading the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Fudge focused on supporting families in need of housing.

Fudge Resigns For Personal Reasons

Fudge’s decision to resign was primarily personal. Her 93-year-old mother, Marian Garth Saffold, still lives in Ohio, and Fudge wants to spend more time with her and other family.

Source: Instagram/repmarciafudge

Fudge has always considered Ohio home, though her political career brought her to Washington. Though she never intended to stay in Washington permanently, the opportunity to lead HUD felt like her calling.

More Work to Be Done

While proud of HUD’s accomplishments during her tenure, Fudge acknowledges that housing issues remain unresolved.

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She laments that HUD did not receive more funding to improve public and multi-family housing, with needs totaling over $70 billion.

Expanding Resources and Funding

Under her leadership, HUD awarded 120,000 housing vouchers to help people experiencing homelessness find temporary housing, the largest increase in over 20 years.

Source: Wikimedia/U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

She also pushed for funds to be included in the 2021 American Rescue Plan to address homelessness. She visited areas hard hit by homelessness, like Los Angeles County, to raise awareness of the problem.

Supporting Vulnerable Groups

Secretary Fudge championed groups with housing needs, like youth aging out of foster care. HUD spent over $30 million to help house former foster youth transitioning to independence.

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Fudge worried that more was needed to build affordable housing, repair public housing, and help communities recover from disasters.

Expanding Housing Vouchers

One of Fudge’s major accomplishments was awarding 120,000 new housing vouchers to help people experiencing homelessness move into temporary housing.

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HUD touts several accomplishments under Fudge’s leadership, including awarding 120,000 new vouchers to help people experiencing homelessness move into temporary housing, the largest in more than 20 years.

Investing in Public Housing

Fudge pushed for greater investment in repairing and improving public housing, though she said funding still falls far short of the over budget needed.

Source: Unsplash/Bernard Hermant

Fudge worries there’s insufficient funding for all the work still needed, including building more affordable housing and repairing aging public housing developments.

Prioritizing Minority-Owned Businesses

Under Fudge’s leadership, HUD spent millions on minority-owned and disadvantaged small businesses for the first time, aiming to promote economic opportunity.

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Fudge said she’s also proud that the agency has spent more than 20% of its procurement funds for the first time with Black and brown business owners and owners of small disadvantaged businesses.

Breaking Through Gridlock

During her time leading HUD, Secretary Fudge has called on Congress to provide increased funding for affordable housing initiatives and repairs to aging public housing infrastructure.

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However, partisan disagreements have often stalled progress on these issues. Secretary Fudge expressed frustration that HUD received only $3 billion to improve public housing when the estimated need is over $70 billion.

An American Issue, Not a Partisan One

Secretary Fudge firmly believes affordable housing should not be viewed through a partisan lens. Upon announcing her resignation, she said, “It is not a red or blue issue.

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Everybody knows that it is an issue, so it’s not a one-sided issue. It’s an American issue.” She has appealed to lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to come together to fund and support affordable housing programs that help vulnerable groups.

Who May Replace Fudge as HUD Secretary

Fudge does not know who will replace her as HUD Secretary, but she has faith in her leadership team. Fudge believes her team has the knowledge and experience necessary to continue the important work.

Source: Facebook/1st District Supervisor Das Williams

The Biden administration will now begin searching for a new HUD Secretary to nominate. Finding the right leader who can continue Fudge’s priorities and advance the mission of the agency will be critical.

Support From Representatives

Rep. James Clyburn originally supported Fudge as Secretary of Agriculture but agreed her experience also made her well-suited to lead HUD. After threats of mass evictions and budget cuts, Fudge took on the role in 2021, dedicated to serving “those who are often left out and left behind.”

Source: Wikimedia/Nancy Pelosi

For Fudge, “These are [her] people.” Helping provide housing for those in need, especially in the Black community, has motivated her.

Fudge’s Legacy on Affordable Housing

Fudge has seen firsthand the challenges and opportunities in providing affordable housing during her time at HUD. Her call for housing as an American issue rings true as she passes the baton.

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With rising costs and pricing of many out-of-homeownership, innovative policies, and public-private partnerships can help write the next chapter on housing access.

Fudge’s Future Plans After Resigning

Don’t expect Fudge to run for office again or take another political appointment. “Don’t look for me to ever be on another ballot or another appointee or anything like that,” she said.

Source: Unsplash/Michael Bowman

Though she will miss the important work of leading HUD, Fudge feels confident leaving the agency in good hands.