HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge announces retirement and plans to return to Northeast Ohio, leaving behind her role in government politics

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Bryce Buyakie

Akron Beacon Journal

HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge spoke Jan. 27, 2024 at the "First in the Nation Dinner and Celebration" hosted by the South Carolina Democratic Party in Columbia, S.C.

Retiring from her top post in the Biden administration as Housing and Urban Development Development secretary, Marcia Fudge will return to her home in Northeast Ohio, vowing not to run for office again, reported USA TODAY.

The 71-year-old Fudge announced her retirement Monday, telling USA TODAY that after decades of public service, “It’s time to go home.”

“I do believe strongly that I have done just about everything I could do at HUD for this administration as we go into this crazy, silly season of an election,” she told USA TODAY.

Her last day is March 22.

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Who is Marcia Fudge?

Before Fudge served three years as President Joe Biden’s cabinet secretary, only the second Black woman to be in the role, she spent nearly five decades in public service.

The lifelong Democrat is the former national president of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, one of the nation’s largest Black sororities. It has a long history in Ohio.

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She also was the first woman and Black person elected mayor of Warrensville Heights in 2000, according to USA TODAY.

Later, Fudge represented Ohio’s 11th district in Congress from 2008 to 2021. During that time, she chaired the Congressional Black Caucus. In 2019, she chaired the House elections subcommittee, which held hearings on voting rights across the US.

Then in 2021, she took the HUD secretary job, leading the agency through the housing crises that followed the COVID-19 pandemic.

Why is she retiring?

Marcia Fudge, secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, testified Jan.11, 2024 at the House Committee on Financial Services hearing,

Her decision to resign is largely a personal one, she told USA TODAY. She hopes to spend more time with her Ohio family, which includes her 92-year-old mother.

Despite taking the HUD job, she never intended to stay in Washington, she said.

What did she accomplish in HUD?

During her three-year tenure as secretary, Fudge traveled the country visiting various communities to push the case for more affordable housing and the needs of people living without homes.

She testified before Congress about issues including homelessness and disparities in home appraisals and closed the “Road Home” program in Louisiana, which was supposed to help families rebuild after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Among her accomplishments is awarding 120,000 new vouchers to help people move into temporary housing. This is the largest in more than 20 years, according to USA TODAY.

The agency spent more than 20% of its procurement funds on Black and brown business owners and small disadvantaged businesses while also spending more than $30 million to help house young people transition out of foster care.

Despite her efforts, she said much needs to be done. She called on Republicans and Democrats to focus on affordable housing and directing more funds toward housing repairs and projects.

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