US Senate confirms Marcia Fudge as housing secretary

The US Senate on Wednesday confirmed Democratic House lawmaker Marcia Fudge as the secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Fudge will be the first woman to serve as HUD secretary since 1979, the second African American woman and the third woman ever to lead the department, Xinhua news agency reported.

The vote was 66-34 with solid bipartisan support.

During her confirmation process, Fudge vowed to turn HUD around at a critical moment for the country with a special focus on narrowing racial inequities in the housing market that have been deepened by the coronavirus pandemic.

Over 11 million US households are facing homelessness after nearly a year of economic peril caused by the pandemic, said a report by The Hill. While many are currently shielded by federal and state bans on coronavirus-related evictions and foreclosures, they will face steep bills for deferred rent and mortgage payments that they may not be able to afford.

Fudge is the former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus and served as mayor of Warrensville Heights, Ohio from 2000 until she was elected to Congress in 2008.