CLEVELAND — Former Congresswoman Marcia Fudge returned Friday to her old district to address an old problem she's very familiar with, and now as Housing and Urban Development Secretary, wants to do something about — increase black homeownership.
The name of the forum, also the stated goal, was "3 by 30" — increase Black homeownership by 3 million by the year 2030.
“We’re going to do everything we possibly can to make sure that every single person has an opportunity to build wealth for their families and we’re going to do it in a fair way,” Fudge told the crowd at Cleveland State University. “We have never fully embraced the Fair Housing Act in this country; today we’re doing that.”
Over the last 20 years, studies have found Black homeownership has actually decreased to 42%, as low as it was in 1970. This compared to over 70% for whites.
When the American Jobs Plan came out, Fudge was one of the first to make the case "housing is infrastructure."
The White House claims that 680,000 Ohio renters spend more than 30% of their income on rent. The initial Biden plan called for $200 billion to address the affordable housing crisis — money that is no longer there in the compromise plan. Fudge believes the goal can be met if those particular funds don’t come.
“I think that we can," she said. "I think this plan is very, very clear that it was not reliant upon the jobs plan but I would also say this — there are other things we can do."
The seat Fudge left in Congress in March to become HUD Secretary is at the center of a nationally-watched political battle that will be decided by voters in a special August 3 primary. That being said, she had no plans to endorse a candidate.
“I cannot get involved in politics so I won’t be making any endorsements. I believe that the people of the 11th District will do the right thing,” she said.