CLEVELAND, Ohio – A day before June 10, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia Fudge said the barriers preventing many blacks from owning homes match the systemic racism that has plagued U.S. history , and said she would use her cabinet post to make important strides.
The former Cleveland-area congresswoman told Cleveland State University on Friday that the gap between the number of white and black homeowners in 2019 was as large as it was in 1968, when the Fair Housing Act has been adopted. And while the progress is evident, too many black residents do not yet feel free, she said.
Fudge, who has headed HUD since the Senate confirmed her appointment in March, has said she wants to change that.
“We have never fully passed the Fair Housing Act in this country,” Fudge said in his speech, interrupted by frequent pauses in applause. âToday we are doing it. When I say it’s a new day in the HUD, it’s a new day in the HUD.
Fudge spoke in Cleveland the day before June 10, which commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. US President Joe Biden on Thursday signed a bill to make June 19 a federal holiday; many state and federal government offices quickly closed their offices on Friday as a result, as the holiday falls on Saturday this year.
The Black Homeownership Collaborative, which is made up of over 100 groups and individuals, hosted Friday’s event at the CSU Student Center. His goal was to announce a plan called “3 by 30, Which aims to help black people own a network of 3 million more homes across the country by 2030.
The plan calls for work to be done at the local and federal levels in areas such as advising on homeownership, facilitating loans and building more housing.
Fudge, Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown, Youngstown area congressman Tim Ryan and others were on hand for the announcement, and speakers touted the initiative to tackle the dire statistics. The census office said in april that the homeownership rate for black households in the first quarter of this year was 45.1%, compared to 73.8% for white households.
In Cleveland, where black residents make up the largest segment of the population, many parts of the city still have large numbers of vacant homes. The researchers said banks are still not making enough loans to potential buyers in the predominantly black areas of Cuyahoga City and County.
Brown said at the event that Cleveland still lives by the Jim Crow laws and redlining, the practice of discriminating against low-income residents by not offering the same service options as people who live in low-income homes. less poor neighborhoods.
âTake a walk through Cleveland,â¦ where you still see the scars of the foreclosure crisis in the same neighborhoods that were stained red, the outline in red on maps in the 1930s,â Brown said.
National Housing Conference President and CEO David Dworkin said inaction would lower black homeownership rates “even lower and stay there for the next 20 years.”
Fudge said she came to “celebrate” the new housing plan but also bragged about new updates to a Federal Housing Administration policy that changes the way student loan payments are counted for mortgage applicants. HUD said more than 80% of FHA insured mortgages go to first-time homebuyers. Of these, over 45% have student loan debt, with much of that debt held by people of color.
The secretary said she wanted to work with the Education Department to further help those struggling with student debt.
âSo over time our new policy can make a big difference to the people of towns and small towns and rural communities in our country,â she said.
In a group with reporters after her speech, she refused to give any approval to the 13 candidates vying to fill her seat, avoiding the kind of remarks that have earned her a warning from the Office of Special Counsel for violating the Hatch Act. . Candidate Shontel Brown was present at the event.
Still, Fudge has made it clear that she is happy to visit Cleveland after being away for more than a month.
âWhen I say there is no place like home, I meant it,â Fudge said during his speech. “It’s so good to be home.”
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