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Secretary Marcia Fudge

Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is the federal agency most responsible for providing opportunities for low-and moderate-income people in our nation, the majority of whom are Black and Brown. As the 18th Secretary of HUD, I have worked to actualize our country’s promise to ensure liberty and justice for all through intentional efforts that advance racial equity and acknowledge historical wrongs while doing the necessary work to right them. 

Over the past three years, HUD has helped more than two million families stay in their homes and avoid foreclosure. We have supported nearly 1.8 million homeowners with purchase mortgages through the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), all while outpacing the rest of the market by serving three times as many Black borrowers and twice as many Hispanic borrowers based on the percentage of volume in our portfolio.

To help even more people become homeowners, we have removed barriers for those with student loan debt trying to buy a home with an FHA-insured mortgage. Understanding that Black and Brown borrowers disproportionately carry student loan debt, more specifically income-based repayment plans, we ensured that this debt wasn’t weighed more heavily than any other type of debt. We also know limited credit can be an impediment for these communities. In response, we’ve made it so a person’s positive rental history can help determine creditworthiness in FHA’s automated underwriting process.   

As we all know, there is still more work to do. The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to improving how government serves the most vulnerable among us and communities that have often been overlooked. Every day, HUD deploys resources in ways that move our country forward toward progress and empower the people who are most impacted by our policies to build better futures for themselves and the generations that will follow them. Our intentional efforts to uplift the voices and experiences of impacted people align with the struggles from which vital civil rights legislation was born, and our work speaks to the continuous movement for racial justice and equality in our nation. This is necessary to build a better country and help Black and Brown communities collectively achieve the goals of pivotal legislation like the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968.

In fact, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 came to be thanks to the steadfast actions of those who stood up to an unjust system. Their demands for change beget an affirmation that the federal government should not be in the business of financing discrimination based on race, color, or national origin, a prohibition that extends to recipients of HUD funding and programs funded by our Department and other federal agencies. Sixty years later, this law continues to be necessary in the ongoing fight against racial discrimination in housing.

Through Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, we have worked to protect tenants facing racially motivated harassment from their housing provider. We help Black and Brown tenants learn about rental vacancies and open waiting lists. Because of Title VI, we are working to ensure those who have paid their debt to society are screened fairly on their rental applications. Under the Department’s other tool, the Fair Housing Act, which expands protections even further, HUD is directed to administer our programs and activities in a manner that affirmatively furthers fair housing and realizes the full promise of the law. We hope to have a final rule that gets us there soon.

Beyond establishing a legal imperative, our nation’s civil rights laws demonstrate our country’s moral obligation to allow everyone, especially those who have borne the brunt of systemic injustice, to attain true liberty. The Biden-Harris Administration has demonstrated its commitment to living up to these ideals. We will continue doing all that is necessary to ensure people of this country from all backgrounds can thrive. But we cannot do this work alone. The current moment calls on everyone who believes this country is a land where freedom is a right, not a privilege, to speak up, speak out, and demand that our system works for all. 

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