Housing Secretary Marcia Fudge Will Leave Biden’s Cabinet Before Election

(Bloomberg) -- Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia Fudge, who helped steer her agency through the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic, plans to depart the administration, becoming just the second Cabinet secretary to leave during President Joe Biden’s term.

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“Under Marcia’s transformational leadership, we have worked hard to lower housing costs and increase supply. We’ve proposed the largest investment in affordable housing in U.S. history,” Biden said in a statement. “We’ve taken steps to aggressively combat racial discrimination in housing by ensuring home appraisals are more fair and by strengthening programs to redress the negative impacts of redlining.”

Fudge’s tenure also will be defined by a rapid increase in housing costs — pushed by Federal Reserve rate hikes designed to combat inflation — that made mortgages historically expensive.

Shelter prices rose 6% from the prior year, according to data released in February by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In the president’s budget, released Monday, he proposed a two-year tax credit for new homebuyers to offset the elevated cost of mortgages.

Read more: Biden’s $7.3 Trillion Budget Sets Spending, Tax Fight With Trump

Deputy Secretary Adrianne Todman will serve as acting secretary after Fudge’s departure, the White House said in a statement.

Fudge will be returning to Ohio to spend more time with her family, according to a White House official.

In a statement, Fudge said her last day would be March 22.

“I thank President Biden for his confidence and trust in me to lead HUD in alignment with the Biden-Harris Administration priorities. 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, a former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, is among the most high-profile Black women in Biden’s administration.

Marty Walsh, Biden’s initial Labor secretary, left the administration last year to head the National Hockey League Players’ Association.

--With assistance from Jennifer Jacobs.

(Updates with details on departure in sixth paragraph)

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