Secretary Fudge Testimony at Senate Banking Hearing on American Jobs Plan
U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Marcia L. Fudge today delivered the following testimony before the Senate Banking Committee on President Biden’s American Jobs Plan:
Chairman Brown, Ranking Member Toomey, and the distinguished members of the Senate Banking Committee: thank you for this opportunity to discuss President Biden’s American Jobs Plan.
Today, as America rebuilds from the COVID-19 pandemic, we face a fundamental decision about our future.
We can choose to take a bold new direction that will make the United States more prosperous, more equitable, and more resilient in the decades to come. A bold new direction that better positions us to win the global competition for the 21st century. That bold new direction is the American Jobs Plan.
If we do not pass this Plan, we will choose instead a very different path.
We will return our nation to the position we occupied before COVID-19.
To an America beset by crumbling bridges, buildings, and homes. An America unprepared for the existential danger posed by climate change. An America grappling with an affordable housing crisis that threatens the security and the dignity of people in every corner of our nation.
Even before the pandemic, nearly 11 million Americans spent more than half of their incomes on rent. COVID-19 has only made this situation worse—especially for communities of color and people of modest means.
The American Jobs Plan would address our housing crisis head on—in cities, small towns, rural communities, and tribal nations.
The plan invests $213 billion to build and modernize more than two million affordable and sustainable places to live.
To help more Americans realize their dream of homeownership, the plan includes a new federal tax credit based on the proposed Neighborhood Homes Investment Act. This credit can lead to the construction and renovation of approximately 500,000 single-family homes.
In addition to creating more housing, the American Jobs Plan preserves the affordable housing we already have.
Nearly 2 million people—including more than 1 million Americans of color—live in public housing. Yet much of our public housing is more than 50 years old and faces significant capital needs.
The American Jobs Plan contains a $40 billion down payment to help repair and rehabilitate our public housing infrastructure. This would dramatically improve the quality of life for residents.
Furthermore, public housing is often located in underserved communities that are especially vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Investments that reduce energy use and increase resiliency can mitigate these risks. This Plan will help make America’s homes and public housing more energy efficient—and better equipped to withstand extreme weather.
In addition, this Plan advances equity for tribal nations. It contains $2 billion in Indian Housing Block Grants to expand affordable housing, resilient infrastructure, and sustainable community development on tribal lands.
All told, the investments in The American Jobs Plan underscore a fundamental truth: that housing is a vital part of our infrastructure.
A secure and stable home represents more than four walls and a roof.
It can connect us to better jobs, more affordable transportation options, and communities with cleaner air and cleaner water.
It can connect our children with good schools—providing them with a pathway to earn a brighter future.
Our homes are bedrock, brick and mortar institutions that lay the foundation for a stronger and more connected society—just like our streets, our highways, and our airports.
To put it simply, our homes serve as a bridge to greater opportunities and a better life.
If we want the United States to remain the greatest nation in the world, then we must first take care of home—in the most literal sense.
To pass an infrastructure plan that fails to address our affordable housing crisis would be akin to building a road that leads to nowhere.
That is why I am honored to appear today alongside Secretary Buttigieg.
The Biden-Harris administration understands that, in order to successfully enact the American Jobs Plan, our two agencies must work in unison to help build more sustainable infrastructure-and expand access to both affordable housing and affordable options for transportation.
Together, we can help revitalize our nation’s infrastructure-including our housing infrastructure—and create an America that is more thriving, more resilient, and more interconnected than ever before.
With that, I am happy to answer any questions you may have.