Phillips Nizer LLP | Marc Landis and Christian Hylton discuss President-elect Biden's Nominee for US Department of Housing and Urban Development for <em >GlobeSt.com </em >
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Marc Landis and Christian Hylton discuss President-elect Biden's Nominee for US Department of Housing and Urban Development for GlobeSt.com

12/10/2020

Biden plans to nominate Ohio Congresswoman Marcia Fudge as the secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

By Kelsi Maree Borland | December 10, 2020 at 07:02 AM

President-elect Joe Biden plans to nominate Ohio Congresswoman Marcia Fudge as the Secretary of the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, according to multiple news reports. If confirmed, Fudge would be the first Black woman in decades to run the department and second only to Patricia Roberts Harris, who had the job under President Jimmy Carter.

As a Congress Woman from Ohio, Fudge represents parts of Cleveland and Akron, and her nomination has bee widely applauded as representative of Biden’s commitment to diversity. “President-elect Biden’s reported selection of Congresswoman Marcia Fudge of Ohio as his nominee for Secretary of the US Department of Housing and Urban Development emphasizes his commitment to expanding housing opportunity and combating racial disparities in our housing system,” said Marc Landis, managing partner of Phillips Nizer LLP and chair of the firm’s Real Estate Practice.

Housing issues are currently front and center with affordability issues plaguing many parts of the country and the pandemic putting more pressure on housing costs. Many CRE players had been pounding a warning drum about affordability issues. In 2018, housing affordability had hit a 10-year low, and the deterioration of affordability was accelerating. The pandemic has only put more pressure on housing issues. In early December, rent collections declined compared to November, likely as a result of increasing economic pressures related to the coronavirus pandemic, and many housing organizations are calling on Congress to provide rent relief.

Fudge will be key in addressing these issues. “HUD will have a prominent role in addressing the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Millions of Americans face mortgage delinquencies, unpaid rent and homelessness.  The anticipated 2021 economic stimulus package may also lift the spirits of many multifamily owners, who have faced the challenge of maintaining their properties without being able to collect rent,” added Landis.

Christian Hylton, co-chair of Phillips Nizer’s land use and government relations practice and the former legislative attorney and counsel to the land use division of the New York City council, agreed that Fudge will prioritize housing disparities and racial inequities. “Under the leadership of Fudge, a former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, we can also expect HUD to adopt measures that prioritize racial equity and addressing the wealth gap, such as reinstatement of the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule,” he said.