The Senate voted 66-34 on Wednesday to confirm former Rep. Marcia Fudge as the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, as the nation’s housing market faces major challenges in the coming months with the end of bans on evictions and foreclosures.
“I’m honored to serve as the 18th Secretary of Housing and Urban Development,” Fudge said in her welcome remarks. “I am proud to join a group of public servants who work with compassion and determination to change the lives of those in need. And I can’t wait to get started.”
Last week, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau reported that millions of Americans face foreclosure and eviction from their homes once housing pandemic protections come to an end.
The CFPB found that nearly 11 million families are behind on rent or mortgage payments, with 8.8 million behind on rent and 2.1 million behind on their mortgages. That accounts for nearly $90 billion in missed mortgage payments.
“I can think of no one better to lead us out of this pandemic and create strong communities for the future than Marcia Fudge,” Senate Banking Chairman Sherrod Brown said. “When she came before the Banking and Housing Committee, Congresswoman Fudge’s knowledge, her passion for service, and her commitment to the people who make this country work were obvious to all of us, Republicans and Democrats alike.”
The Mortgage Bankers Association congratulated Fudge on her confirmation.
“I am confident she will continue the agency’s critical work addressing the need for ongoing housing assistance during the COVID-19 emergency,” MBA President and CEO Robert D. Broeksmit said. “We also look forward to working with the new Secretary on improving the FHA program by continuing the enhancements to its technology platforms as well as reforming servicing rules to lower costs and expand the number of lenders participating in the program.”
The National Association of Home Builders also applauded Fudge’s confirmation.
“We look forward to working with her to address the urgent needs associated with the current COVID-19 pandemic while continuing to advance HUD’s mission of promoting affordable homeownership and rental housing opportunities for all Americans,” NAHB Chairman Chuck Fowke said. “NAHB also stands ready to work with the secretary and her new team to promote pro-housing policies that ensure stable and liquid mortgage markets for single-family and multifamily housing.”
Fudge, 68, first won election to the U.S. House in 2008 and was re-elected last month with more than 80 percent of the vote. She serves on the Agriculture and Education and Labor Committees in the House.
A native of Cleveland, Fudge earned a business degree from Ohio State University and a law degree from Cleveland State University. She was the mayor of Warrensville Heights from 2000 through 2008.
“As a former mayor, Secretary Fudge recognizes the critical role HUD programs play in preserving the American Dream and ensuring everyone in this country has access to a safe, affordable home,” National Association of Realtors President Charlie Oppler said. “NAR looks forward to partnering with Secretary Fudge as we continue our work to address racial disparities in real estate and our nation’s persistent housing affordability crisis.”