Biden’s HUD Nominee Supported by MBA, Obama-era Secretary

Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio), President Joe Biden’s nominee to serve as the next Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), has received messages of support from one trade organization in addition to a former HUD Secretary who served in the administration of President Barack Obama.

Fudge, who last week sat for her confirmation hearing in front of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, received a letter of support from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) just prior to her confirmation hearing. The letter was sent directly to the committee by the MBA to express its support for Rep. Fudge’s nomination.

Official portrait of Rep. Marcia Fudge. U.S. House | CC0
Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio)

“Throughout her career of over three decades in public service, Congresswoman Fudge has demonstrated the expertise to address the complex set of housing challenges our country faces,” said MBA President and CEO Robert Broeksmit in the letter, as reported by Dodd Frank Update.

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The letter continued by pointing to her congressional tenure as being indicative of her ability to unite people in common cause.

“As a former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, she knows how to build coalitions to advance the shared goals of economic inclusion and boosting minority homeownership,” the letter by Broeksmit reads. “I believe she will put those talents to good use, helping strengthen America’s housing market, promoting the production of affordable rental housing, improving the fabric of communities nationwide, and addressing the needs of those in our country still living ‘on the outskirts of hope.’”

Also expressing support for Fudge’s nomination is former HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan, who served in the role during President Barack Obama’s administration between 2009 and 2014. Donovan told National Public Radio (NPR)’s Mary Louise Kelly that he was encouraged by Rep. Fudge’s statements during the hearing about reviving the principle of affirmatively furthering fair housing.

HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan's official 2009 portrait. HUD | CC0
Former HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan

“The responsibility, if you take federal money, is to actually go farther than that and reverse, undo, the legacy impacts of discrimination,” Donovan said. “I think Congresswoman Fudge in her confirmation hearing put it very well.”

When asked about the immediate responsibilities in front of the likely secretary, Donovan said that the immediate concerns are housing instability among Americans stemming from the pandemic.

“We know that more than a third of Americans were having trouble just meeting the rent because of widespread joblessness, loss of wages, the deep impacts of COVID,” he says. “And so job one has to be keeping folks in their homes and getting $25 billion in rental assistance that was just passed by Congress out into people’s hands so that they can stay in their homes and don’t end up on the streets.”

Rep. Fudge is expected to have her nomination forwarded to the full Senate, where a vote will then be taken considering her confirmation.

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