Opening Statement by Secretary Fudge
June 1, 2022
Communities across the country do not have enough affordable homes – causing increased costs for families, seniors, persons with disabilities, veterans, and all of our neighbors. Housing is often the largest budget item for families, which is why the Biden-Harris Administration is prioritizing addressing the unprecedented national shortage of affordable housing. Together, we can solve this problem.
That is why I am launching Our Way Home, a HUD-led effort to address the housing supply challenges in our local communities. Through this work, HUD will uplift the actions communities are taking to create more affordable homes. We will connect cities, counties, Tribal communities, states, and U.S. Territories to tools and resources that can help preserve and produce safe, accessible, and affordable housing. This is the foundation for strong, sustainable, and inclusive communities.
Through this initiative, HUD will be engaging communities through roundtables, listening sessions, and peer learning opportunities to connect communities to key HUD resources and housing partners that can help communities build and preserve more housing. The initiative is also an opportunity for HUD to get feedback and ideas for improvements on our programs from our partners and all the people we serve.
To kick-off Our Way Home, every HUD Regional Administrator is joining me in a Day of Action. Today, I will announce Our Way Home in our nation’s capital. HUD Regional Administrators participated in events and conversations focused on housing supply in every region of the country – elevating unique community successes and engaging local leaders to discuss the tools HUD has available to build and preserve affordable homes.
A big part of this initiative is to applaud the community partnerships and progress that is already happening. It is also a call to action.
It is going to take government working at all levels and in partnership with non-profit and private organizations to make change. States and localities should use federal resources – including funds from the American Rescue Plan and HUD – to build new, affordable housing and rehabilitate our existing stock of aging homes in ways that increase access to opportunity and preserve safe, accessible, and affordable units. We’ll be elevating community stories including those that:
Create permanent housing with services for our most vulnerable populations including those experiencing homelessness, seniors, and persons with disabilities;
Advance fair housing by ensuring families have access to affordable housing in communities of their choice;
Build housing connected with transit and new infrastructure investments, so all families have a direct connection to economic opportunities; and
Use innovative and sustainable building strategies – so we can scale cost-efficient models and create homes and communities that are resilient.
In HUD’s recently released Strategic Plan, we underscore HUD’s commitment to the people and communities most impacted by the housing and homelessness crises and lay out our plan to advance inclusive, equity-focused policies and programs.
Our Way Home will center localized efforts to address the housing shortage, while encouraging our partners to use federal resources to build quality, affordable housing and preserve existing homes.
This is our way home.