This week, HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge testified at two appropriations hearings in Congress. On April 20, she joined three other Biden administration officials for a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing on the American Jobs Plan. On April 21, she was the sole witness for a Fiscal Year 2022 hearing in the House Transportation and Housing and Urban Development (T-HUD) Appropriations Subcommittee.
Senate Appropriations Committee
The Senate hearing focused on the funding included in President Joe Biden’s American Jobs Plan, including the $213 billion designated for housing infrastructure. In her testimony, Sec. Fudge stated, “Nearly 2 million people across the country live in public housing – including families, seniors, and people with disabilities… The American Jobs Plan calls for an investment of $40 billion to improve our public housing infrastructure and address critical safety concerns for residents.”
Several Senators questioned Sec. Fudge about the housing-related sections of the bill. Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA) asked whether any of the $213 billion in funding would go toward homeless families. Sec. Fudge responded that the American Rescue Plan had already included $5 billion for emergency housing vouchers and $5 billion for homeless assistance programs. She explained that HUD will continue responding the homelessness across the nation.
When Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) expressed concern about a grant program that would incentivize jurisdictions to make changes to their local zoning laws, Sec. Fudge emphasized that the program is voluntary and would support local efforts to develop equitable, affordable housing.
House Appropriations, T-HUD Subcomittee
In the House, the T-HUD Subcommittee hearing served as an initial discussion on the Fiscal Year 2022 budget request for HUD. Sec. Fudge outlined the HUD funding included in President Biden’s discretionary request, including $30.4 billion for the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program. The increase in HCV funding would expand voucher assistance to an estimated 200,000 households.
Representatives on both sides of the aisle questioned Sec. Fudge about specific HUD programs and priorities. Subcommittee Chairman David Price (D-NC) asked about Section 202 and Section 811 funding for seniors and people with disabilities. Sec. Fudge provided details on the NOFAs for both programs, recognizing the importance of providing housing for vulnerable populations.
Congresswoman Ashley Hinson (R-IA) and Congressman Tony Gonzales (R-TX) both questioned Sec. Fudge about funding for rural housing. She noted that President Biden has a plan to provide $2 billion for rural housing and that HUD will partner with USDA to improve rural housing programs.
The written witness statements and a recording of the full hearing are available online: