When President Joe Biden took office 100 or so days ago he was met with enthusiasm by many major trade associations serving the mortgage, housing, and financial services industries as he laid out some major relevant promises and proposals.
To lead the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Biden tapped former Ohio Representative Marcia L. Fudge, who vowed to empower America's most vulnerable citizens when it comes to homeownership, homelessness, and affordable housing.
HUD on Thursday published a status report on its first 100 days under the Biden-Kamala Harris administration, during which it says the administration, Secretary Fudge, and HUD "have delivered on urgent housing needs and laid the foundations to tackle longer-term housing challenges."
Here, a few highlights:
- Related to COVID-19, HUD extended forbearance and foreclosure and eviction moratoria. As we reported, the action received mixed reactions. The department also issued guidance to HUD recipients on how HUD funding can be used to support vaccination efforts, HUD reports.
- HUD announced a $450 million investment to provide American Rescue Plan funding to Native American communities across the nation. HUD awarded $5 million in ARP funding to address the housing needs of low-income Native Hawaiian families. HUD is assisting the Treasury Department with the implementation of the Emergency Rental Assistance Program. Here, we reported on what the American Rescue Plan might mean for housing.
- HUD allocated $5 billion in American Rescue Plan funds to increase affordable housing to address homelessness. Additionally, HUD awarded $2.5 billion to renew support to thousands of local homeless assistance programs across the nation.
Fudge held a conference call last week to discuss those allocations with local leaders.
- HUD also took steps to allocate $5 billion—roughly 70,000 vouchers—to people experiencing or at risk of experiencing homelessness. HUD reaffirmed its policy that ensures equal access to homeless services for LGBTQ+ people (more on that, here).
- To increase affordable housing, HUD allocated $700 million through the Housing Trust Fund to help states produce more affordable housing for extremely low- and very low-income households.
- To advance fair housing, one of Secretary Fudge's primary areas of focus, based on her public talks, HUD announced that it will enforce the Fair Housing Act to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. HUD began examining its “disparate impact” and Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rules. HUD took steps to implement the President’s executive order on equity.
In these actions, leaders acknowledged "the federal government’s legacy of housing discrimination and securing equal access to housing opportunity for all."
- When it comes to disaster relief, as we recently reported, HUD just unlocked $14 billion dollars of the more than $20 billion in federal disaster recovery and resilience funding for Puerto Rico. This includes the removal of "onerous restrictions" unique to Puerto Rico. "These actions are the latest in an ongoing whole-of-government approach to support the island’s recovery and renewal," HUD reported. The department also implemented federal disaster assistance for Texas, in areas affected by the severe winter storm.
- HUD awarded some $742 million for affordable housing activities in Tribal communities. Additionally, HUD awarded more than $36 million to support public housing and Native American residents in achieving economic and housing stability. HUD says it also has held multiple Tribal consultations to strengthen the nation-to-nation relationship.
That's not all, according to HUD's fact sheet. Read the entire list at HUD.gov.