$3.3 Million In Funding Available To Combat COVID-19 Housing Discrimination

By KIMBERLEY HAAS Officials at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development are making an additional $3,285,353 in American Rescue Plan funding available to help fight housing discrimination related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The announcement was made on Tuesday and according to a press release, this is the third round of American Rescue Plan funding that targets COVID-19 related discrimination. About $16.1 million in funding has been awarded to 62 HUD Fair Housing Initiatives Program agencies to address the impact the pandemic has had on communities of color, low-income communities, and other vulnerable populations. Demetria L. McCain, HUD’s Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, said in a statement that the COVID-19 pandemic continues to reveal…

Biden-Harris Tackle Equity In Lending And Appraisals

By KIMBERLEY HAAS Vice President Kamala Harris joined officials from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on Wednesday to announce the delivery of a plan designed to dismantle racial bias in the home lending and appraisal process. The Interagency Task Force on Property Appraisal and Valuation Equity (PAVE) Action Plan submitted to President Joe Biden will, when enacted, represent the most wide-ranging set of reforms ever put forward to advance equity in the home appraisal process, according to a press release. During her speech, Harris described how a home ensures future financial security and peace of mind for families. “Imagine a young couple that saves enough money to put a down payment on a home. The day they…

$2.65 Billion In Funding Awarded To Help The Homeless

By KIMBERLEY HAAS The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has announced over $2.6 billion to fund roughly 7,000 local homeless housing and service programs throughout the country. HUD Secretary Marcia L. Fudge said that access to stable housing is a basic necessity and the safety of a home is essential as the United States continues to fight COVID. “These Continuum of Care program grants, coupled with the historic resources in the American Rescue Plan, will deliver communities the resources needed to ensure that every person in a respective community has the equitable opportunity to a safe and stable home,” Fudge said in a statement released on Monday. The FY 2021 Continuum of Care Competition Awards will provide funding…

CT Town Will Pay $350,000 To Settle Discrimination Lawsuit as Biden Admin Promotes Housing for Disabled

By KIMBERLEY HAAS Officials from the U.S. Department of Justice have announced a settlement in a lawsuit against a Connecticut town that refused to allow the operation of a group home for people with mental health disabilities. The DOJ lawsuit alleges officials in Wolcott, Conn. violated the Fair Housing Act when they denied a special use permit to L&R Realty and SELF, Inc. to open a residence for 13 geriatric adults with mental health disabilities. Lawyers at the Justice Department filed suit last December. “Local governments do not have the right to use zoning laws and restrictions as a vehicle to discriminate against people with disabilities,” Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division said in…

Fudge: No Change To FHA Mortgage Insurance Rates

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia L. Fudge announced that mortgage insurance on Federal Housing Administration loans will remain the same for the foreseeable future. “Given the current FHA delinquency crisis and our duty to manage risks and the overall health of the fund, we have no near-term plans to change FHA’s mortgage insurance premium pricing,” HUD Secretary Marcia L. Fudge said. “We will continue to rigorously evaluate our strategy and work transparently with Congress. Our number one priority is helping families keep their homes and remain safe as we work toward an equitable recovery.” What is FHA mortgage insurance? Bankrate explains: All FHA loans require the borrower to pay two mortgage insurance premiums: Upfront mortgage insurance premium: 1.75 percent of the loan amount,…

Did Secretary Fudge Violate The Hatch Act?

Housing and Urban Development Secretary touched off a mini political storm last week when she answered a political question in the White House briefing room, raising concerns that she violated the Hatch Act in the process. The Hatch Act prohibits executive branch employees from engaging political activity as part of their government work. They can do political work, but it must be separated from their government jobs. Fudge was in the White House briefing room Thursday with Press Secretary Jen Psaki when she was asked by a reporter about the race to succeed her in Congress. She declined to answer, but was then asked about the Ohio Senate race. Here is how she responded when asked if there were any…

Secretary Fudge’s Welcome Remarks At HUD

The Department of Housing and Urban Development posted a welcome video from new Secretary Marcia Fudge, who was sworn in Wednesday after being confirmed by the Senate earlier in the day. Here is her video: And here are the remarks: A good home shapes nearly every part of our lives. It’s where we start and end each day. It’s where we raise our families and come together in times of joy. It’s where we find shelter and comfort during times of hardship. The past year has reminded us just how important it is to have a safe and stable place to call home. But, right now-for millions of Americans-that sense of security and peace of mind is out of reach.…

Senate Confirms Fudge As HUD Secretary

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…

Biden Officially Nominates Fudge To Lead HUD

President-elect Joe Biden on Thursday officially announced that Ohio Congresswoman Marcia Fudge as the nominee for Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Fudge, who had wanted to lead the Department of Agriculture, was one of five major appointments unveiled. They include Tom Vilsack (USDA), Denis McDonough (Veterans Affairs), Katherine Tai (US Trade Representative) and Susan Rice (director of White House Policy Council). “This dedicated and distinguished group of public servants will bring the highest level of experience, compassion, and integrity to bear, solving problems and expanding possibilities for the American people in the face of steep challenges,” Biden said. “The roles they will take on are where the rubber meets the road — where competent and crisis-tested governance can make…

Reports: Biden To Nominate Fudge For HUD

President-elect Joe Biden is expected to name Congresswoman Marcia Fudge of Ohio as the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, according to media reports Tuesday. No official announcement of the appointment has been made, as the Biden team has been leaking cabinet selections to the media in advance of formal announcements a day or so later. Fudge, D-Ohio, had sought to lead the USDA – and even seemed to balk at the idea that she might end up at HUD. She told Politico in November that Black leaders too often are pigeon-holed for only certain cabinet positions, including HUD. As this country becomes more and more diverse, we’re going to have to stop looking at only certain agencies as those that people like me…