Marcia Fudge
Courtesy Department of Housing and Urban Development Marcia Fudge

Marcia Fudge has resigned as secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), effective March 22.

She has served as the nation’s top housing official throughout President Joe Biden’s administration.

“It has always been my belief that government can and should work for the people,” she said in a statement. “For the last three years, I have fully embraced HUD’s mission to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. The people HUD serves are those who are often left out and left behind. These are my people. They serve as my motivation for everything we have been able to accomplish.”

Fudge, 71, was a longtime member of the House of Representatives from Ohio before joining the administration.

“As I transition to life as a public citizen, I will continue to do the work that I have been called to do,” she said.

Fudge told USA Today that she is retiring and will not seek another office.

Adrianne Todman, HUD deputy secretary, has been tapped to serve as acting secretary when Fudge departs, according to reports.

Biden praised Fudge’s leadership at HUD.

“When I took office, we inherited a broken housing system, with fair housing and civil rights protections badly dismantled under the prior administration,” he said. “On day one, Marcia got to work rebuilding the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and over the past three years she has been a strong voice for expanding efforts to build generational wealth through homeownership and lowering costs and promoting fairness for America’s renters.”

During Fudge’s tenure, HUD created a new program to address post-disaster housing needs of people experiencing homelessness, worked to address unsheltered homelessness using an all-of-government approach, advanced important tenant protections, and consistently called for universal rental assistance vouchers for veterans and youths aging out of foster care, said the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC).

“Secretary Fudge consistently—and rightfully—says housing is a human right, and her actions at HUD have utilized all administrative levers to make it so,” said NLIHC president and CEO Diane Yentel. “Her signature initiatives at HUD have been addressing homelessness, engaging with and supporting tenant leaders, and reducing the racial wealth gap in homeownership. On each initiative, she has left an indelible mark, moving our nation closer to achieving housing justice.”

Sarah Brundage served as senior adviser for housing supply and infrastructure in the office of the secretary and in other roles at HUD prior to recently becoming president and CEO of the National Association of Affordable Housing Lenders.

“Marcia L. Fudge assumed her role as secretary to the Department of Housing and Urban Development in a time when the agency needed rebuilding and the nation needed a strong voice on our country’s growing housing needs,” Brundage said. “Secretary Fudge led the way and did so boldly—bringing a strong vision on how to boost housing supply, address homelessness, and boost generational wealth through homeownership. It was an honor to serve Madam Secretary in my time at HUD, and I, along with the American people, will forever be grateful for her inspirational career of public service and her relentless passion and wisdom to not just have an impact in Washington, but to truly help Americans in all types of communities nationwide.”

David Dworkin, president and CEO of the National Housing Conference, also reacted to the news.

“Secretary Marcia Fudge's tenure at HUD has surpassed all expectations, including her own, earning her recognition as a highly consequential HUD secretary,” he said. “Throughout her leadership, secretary Fudge has been a steadfast advocate for equitable housing policies, championing initiatives aimed at alleviating homelessness, expanding access to affordable housing, and fostering sustainable communities. During the pandemic, HUD’s actions helped hundreds of thousands of people who she will never know but who will never forget what was done for their families.”

Dworkin also cited how Fudge’s decision to reduce Federal Housing Administration’s mortgage insurance premium has positively impacted millions of individuals, helping mitigate America's housing affordability challenges.

He further said that Todman “may be the most qualified leader of HUD in history. With her deep experience in a wide range of areas, she has proven to be an invaluable asset and a highly effective leader of the department during her current tenure.”

Before joining HUD, Todman was CEO of the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials and executive director of the District of Columbia Housing Authority.