FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 9, 2020
Contact: Izzy Woodruff | 202-898-1661 | IWoodruff@nationalfairhousing.org
National Fair Housing Alliance Applauds Selection of Representative Marcia L. Fudge to Head HUD
Washington, D.C. — Today, Lisa Rice, President and CEO of the National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA), issued the following statement on President-elect Joseph R. Biden’s selection of Rep. Marcia L. Fudge to head the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD):
“NFHA is extremely encouraged by President-elect Joseph R. Biden’s selection of Rep. Marcia L. Fudge to lead HUD. An unflagging advocate for civil rights, Fudge brings decades of experience as a public servant and a strong commitment to ensuring equitable access to credit, education, healthy food, clean environments, and other resources, which go hand-in-hand with access to housing. Having served as mayor of Warrensville Heights, Ohio, Fudge will bring a unique understanding of how HUD programs are implemented on the ground locally.
“We are further encouraged by the incoming administration’s indication that its Day One priorities for HUD will include reinstating the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) and 2013 Disparate Impact rules. The 2015 AFFH rule, which provided a framework for localities to use in addressing systemic residential discrimination and segregation, was eliminated by the Trump administration earlier this year. And the outgoing administration also severely weakened the 2013 Disparate Impact rule, which was a crucial tool to fight discrimination and ensure equal housing opportunity under the Fair Housing Act. Both of these regulations are important tools for accomplishing the incoming administration’s bold vision for racial equity.
“We hope that, in addition to bringing back the Obama-era AFFH and Disparate Impact rules, the incoming Secretary will strongly support the following actions:
- Re-establish the President’s Fair Housing Council;
- Convert HUD’s Fair Housing Initiatives Program into an entitlement program that consistently provides adequate funds to Qualified Fair Housing Enforcement Organizations;
- Increase enforcement of fair housing laws and policies by HUD’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, including sufficient staffing of the office with persons experienced in fair housing;
- Support passage of the HEROES Act to ensure a faster and more equitable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and reduce housing instability among vulnerable groups;
- Advance legislation and policies to expand the U.S.’s affordable housing stock;
- Provide guidance on how entities can design, market, and implement Special Purpose Credit Programs;
- Advance policies that are racially equitable to ensure communities of color can recover fully from the COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis;
- Ensure HUD, including FHA, implements technology upgrades that allow it to effectively serve consumers and communities;
- Re-establish agreements between HUD, the Department of Transportation, and the Department of Education to coordinate government-wide efforts to affirmatively further fair housing, and adopt similar agreements with other appropriate federal agencies;
- Withdraw HUD’s 2020 proposed changes to its Equal Access Rule and reimplement the 2016 Equal Access Rule that protects LGBTQ people from discrimination in HUD-assisted housing and services;
- Withdraw HUD’s Mixed-Status Family Rule that would result in the displacement of 55,000 American children, leading to increased housing instability and homelessness;
- Clarify HUD’s legal position that there is third-party liability as it pertains to harassment or Quid Pro Quo cases brought under the Fair Housing Act;
- Establish a division within HUD to fulfill the agency’s obligation to provide effective fair housing oversight over Government Sponsored Enterprises;
- Make full use of HUD’s Secretary-initiated complaint process to address systemic fair housing issues;
- Equip HUD to effectively address algorithmic bias; and
- Identify and eliminate vestiges of racism within HUD’s programs that perpetuate institutionalized discrimination and segregation.
“In addition to undoing the profound harms done by the Trump administration, we encourage the incoming HUD Secretary to look for ways we can strengthen existing fair housing tools and create new ones that ensure equity and create safe, healthy, well-resourced, resilient neighborhoods for all Americans.”
About The National Fair Housing Alliance
Founded in 1988, NFHA is a consortium of more than 200 private, nonprofit fair housing organizations and state and local civil rights agencies from throughout the United States. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., NFHA works to eliminate housing discrimination and ensure equal housing opportunity for all people through leadership, education, outreach, membership services, public policy initiatives, community development, advocacy, and enforcement.