Marcia Fudge to Step Down as HUD Secretary

Deputy Secretary Adrianne Todman will step in as the agency's interim leader.

A picture of HUD secretary Marcia Fudge

Marcia Fudge assumed the top role at HUD during the first year of the pandemic. Image courtesy of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Marcia Fudge, who helmed HUD during much of the tumult of the COVID-19 pandemic, said Monday that she will retire on March 22.

The timeline for nominating and confirming a successor was not immediately clear. White House press officials didn’t respond on Monday to inquiries about naming Fudge’s successor.

A spokesperson for Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, referred questions to a committee spokesperson, who declined to comment. The committee would be tasked with holding confirmation hearings for the next secretary-designate.

Deputy Secretary Adrianne Todman will take over in an acting capacity until a successor is confirmed. Fudge’s interim successor was once a policy aide in the department’s Office of Public and Indian Housing, before becoming executive director of the District of Columbia Housing Authority and, later, the CEO of the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials. The Senate confirmed her as Fudge’s lieutenant by unanimous consent in June 2021.

Industry leaders weigh in

MBA CEO Bob Broeksmit lauded Fudge’s leadership during the pandemic in a prepared statement, noting that she worked with the industry “to ensure struggling borrowers could remain in their homes.” He also credited her with raising multifamily large loan limits and improving HUD programs to expand the supply of multifamily and single-family housing.

In a prepared statement, National Housing Conference President & CEO David M. Dworkin said that Fudge’s tenure “has surpassed all expectations,” describing her as “a steadfast advocate for equitable housing policies” and crediting her with being “a balanced leader in highly partisan times.”

Fudge, a former Ohio congresswoman, was confirmed 66-34 by the Senate in early 2021. Prior to serving in the House for 12 years, Fudge was the mayor of Warrensville Heights, Ohio. She took the helm at HUD in March 2021, as the department tackled fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.

Among the accomplishments Fudge touted in her statement were “making mortgages more affordable by reducing the mortgage insurance premium for FHA mortgages” and removing barriers to FHA loans for people with student loan debt, as well as funding upward of 2 million units of public housing. Fudge also noted that 1.2 million homeless people were housed during her tenure, while the proportion of Black and Hispanic FHA borrowers increased.

President Biden, who nominated Fudge during his presidential transition, cited the administration’s efforts during Fudge’s tenure to increase supply and lower costs, as well as its proposed investment in affordable housing.

Fudge’s tenure has not been without controversy. In her first year at HUD, she received a warning from the Office of Special Counsel after the agency found comments she had made regarding an impending U.S. Senate election in Ohio to be in violation of the Hatch Act, which prohibits executive branch officials from engaging in certain types of political activity.

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