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State of the Union

Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Marcia Fudge arrives on the House floor before President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address to the joint session of Congress in the U.S. Capitol on March 7, 2024. | Source: Bill Clark / Getty

U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Marcia Fudge was being showered with praises and gratitude by Black leaders in particular after she announced Monday her unexpected resignation from President Joe Biden’s cabinet.

The resignation is set to take effect nearly three years to the day when she was confirmed. It was not immediately clear why she plans to resign from HUD.

Fudge, 71, a Democrat who represented Ohio in Congress from 2008 to 2020, is one of a handful of Black cabinet secretaries Biden handpicked following his historic election. She is also just the second Black woman to lead the government agency.

In a note to her staff on Monday, Fudge didn’t provide a reason for what she called her “retirement” from HUD, according to POLITICO. It was unclear how or if the timing of Fudge’s announcement would affect Biden’s reelection bid.

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Serving as HUD secretary “was the ideal opportunity to culminate a career focused on doing the most good for the most people, including those who have often been left behind or left out,” Fudge wrote. “With mixed emotions, I am announcing my retirement and resignation from the position of Secretary of HUD, effective March 22, 2024.”

Deputy HUD Secretary Adrianne Todman, also a Black woman, was quickly named Monday as acting HUD Secretary after Fudge officially steps down later this month.

The Congressional Black Caucus (BCB), for which Fudge served as a former chairperson, was among Black-led groups and other prominent African Americans who thanked the soon-to-be former HUD secretary for her tireless service to the nation.

“The Congressional Black Caucus applauds Secretary Marcia L. Fudge for her leadership and decades of service to our country as she begins her next chapter,” CBC Chairman and Nevada Rep. Steven Horsford said in a statement emailed to NewsOne. “Secretary Fudge’s tenure in the Biden-Harris Administration leading the Department of Housing and Urban Development has been one of tremendous work and achievement for the American people. Since her confirmation in March of 2021, Secretary Fudge has worked tirelessly to provide access to safe and affordable housing to millions of American families, with a particular focus on racial equity and addressing the gap in Black homeownership. Under her leadership, the agency has supported nearly a quarter of a million Black people in purchasing a home and has taken significant steps to root out racial bias in the home appraisal process. She leaves her mark on the agency as a passionate leader and the first African American woman to lead the department in decades, and only the second in our nation’s history.”

Cleveland Mayor Justin M. Bibb congratulated Fudge on her decision to resign and pointed to the work HUD did on his city’s behalf during her tenure leading the government agency.

“She fought to expand the number of minority homeowners with her Black Homeowner Initiative,” Bibb said of Fudge in a post on X, formerly Twitter.

Courtney Johnson Rose, the president of the National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB), said she and her group worked with Fudge to expand affordable housing, increase homeownership for people of color and reduce homelessness in America.

“As a champion of racial equity, Secretary Fudge has tirelessly advocated policies to eliminate systemic housing discrimination and reduce the racial wealth gap, a cause also championed by NAREB. I personally thank Secretary Fudge on behalf of the NAREB and the millions of Americans her efforts have impacted,” Johnson said in a statement sent to NewsOne. “During her tenure, she helped more than two million families stay in their homes and avoid foreclosure, removed barriers for people with student loan debt trying to buy a home with an FHA mortgage, and ensured that positive rental history plays a more significant role in determining creditworthiness when trying to obtain a home loan.”

HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge’s tenure

The U.S. Senate as HUD Secretary on March 10, 2021. She followed in the footsteps of Patricia Harris, the first Black woman HUD Secretary who was appointed to the position in 1977 by President Jimmy Carter.

Fudge took over leadership from embattled HUD Secretary Ben Carson, a former doctor who had no prior experience in civil rights or housing policy before being successfully nominated by former President Donald Trump.

During her confirmation hearings, Fudge vowed to dedicate her efforts to eliminating discriminatory housing practices and boosting Black homeownership, two pillars of the Biden administration’s equity plan for Black and low-income Americans.

Because of the harsh realities of the COVID-19 pandemic, Fudge said she would immediately prioritize providing rental assistance to households at risk of eviction.

“We cannot afford to have people–millions of people evicted from their homes or their apartments, because the problem then just gets worse it doesn’t get better,” Fudge said at the time. “I understand that there are some who believe that we are doing more than we should, but I believe we are not doing enough.”

Since then, Fudge went on to achieve success with HUD programs like the Bridging the Wealth Gap initiative, which allocated $113 million in funds to help low-income families increase their earned income and improve financial stability.

Notably, a little more than a week after Fudge was confirmed, she went viral for giving the White House reporter pool a short lesson on manners.

After greeting the reporters and getting no response, Fudge paused and repeated herself, to which the reporters finally responded.

“Oh, thank you,” Fudge said back with a smile. “I was wondering if I was in this room by myself.”

SEE ALSO:

Secretary Marcia Fudge Highlights New Program To Combat Homelessness And Support ‘Entire Person’

Black Twitter Celebrates Marcia Fudge’s ‘Black Auntie Energy’ During Viral Press Conference Moment

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