U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia Fudge testified before the House Committee on Financial Services this week, emphasizing the department’s progress in tackling the affordability crisis.
“When this Administration began, conditions were bleak. During the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of Americans lost or had little access to quality, safe, and affordable housing. Many more were at severe risk of losing their homes,” Fudge said in prepared remarks.
“Now, three years later, HUD has made historic strides to provide direct housing assistance, expand opportunities for homeownership and affordable rental housing, root out discrimination in housing, and build strong and resilient communities in urban centers and rural areas, alike.”
Fudge noted, however, that the need for HUD assistance is “ever-growing.”
“Our agency directly serves more than 9 million people monthly in every corner of our nation through our rental assistance programs alone, and we do far more than provide rental assistance. We oversee the supply of our nation’s most affordable, and often most vulnerable, housing. We invest in community development, disaster recovery, and bolster economic opportunities for people of all backgrounds,” Fudge said.
HUD officials have laid out the department’s impact on homeownership under the leadership of Fudge.
They say they have supported homeownership for 1.5 million first-time homebuyers.
Millennials are aging into their homebuying years and flooding the market. Washington D.C.’s assistance fund for new buyers ran out of money in less than four months, highlighting the sheer number of hopeful homeowners in the market.
HUD is also an important part of building homeownership in underserved communities. Its lending rate to Black and Hispanic borrowers was triple and double that of the market, respectively.
The department this week proposed another rule to promote economic development and residential construction in these communities.
Additionally, in 2022, nearly half of all rural borrowers obtained mortgages insured by the FHA.
Fudge says HUD is committed to its mission, which “has been made clear by the historic policies and impact our resources have had across the United States.”
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