[HUD Seal]

Secretary Fudge Testimony at House Budget Hearing on FY22 HUD Budget
 

WASHINGTON, DC - U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Marcia L. Fudge today delivered the following testimony before the House Budget Committee on the President’s FY 2022 budget request for HUD:


Chairman Yarmuth, Ranking Member Smith, and distinguished Members of the Committee: Thank you for inviting me to discuss the transformational investments the Biden-Harris administration has proposed to expand housing opportunity in our country.

Even before the onset of COVID-19, nearly 11 million families spent more than half of their incomes on rent. The pandemic has only made that situation worse—especially for communities of color and for people of modest means.

The President understands we must take bold action to address America’s affordable housing crisis.

That is why President Biden has proposed a budget for Fiscal Year 2022 that requests $68.7 billion on behalf of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This amount represents an increase of $9 billion—or 15 percent—from HUD’s enacted funding for Fiscal Year 2021.

The President’s Budget would greatly strengthen the social safety net for the most vulnerable among us.

It contains $3.5 billion to provide housing and supportive services to Americans experiencing homelessness—including young people and survivors of domestic violence.

The President’s Budget requests $30.4 billion for HUD’s Housing Choice Voucher Program. If enacted, it would deliver potentially life-changing assistance to an additional 200,000 households.

The President’s Budget takes strong steps to preserve America’s public housing stock. Nearly half of our public housing is more than 50 years old. Many properties face major capital needs.

This is not just a safety issue, but an issue of racial justice—as people of color represent more than 70 percent of Americans who live in public housing.

That is why the President’s Budget invests $3.2 billion toward public housing capital funds to help dramatically improve the quality of life for residents.

To further advance equity for underserved communities, the President’s Budget requests $723 million in Indian Housing Block Grants. This funding would help create affordable housing, improve water conservation, and build climate resilient infrastructure on tribal lands.

In addition, the President’s Budget contains major investments to strengthen HUD’s capacity to serve the American people.

Between 2012 and 2019, the number of full-time employees at our agency declined by roughly 20 percent.

HUD’s dedicated team of outstanding civil servants is overworked and understaffed. They need help.

The President’s Budget would provide $1.7 billion for HUD’s internal operations. This would allow our Department to hire the employees we need to deliver critical services—from disaster relief to fair housing enforcement—with urgency and efficiency.

To build upon the vital funding contained in this Budget—and to dramatically expand our supply of affordable housing—the President has proposed the American Jobs Plan.

It represents a once-in-a-generation investment in our nation’s infrastructure—including our housing infrastructure.

All told, the Jobs Plan provides $318 billion to construct, restore, and modernize more than two million affordable places to live.

It would significantly expand HUD’s Housing Trust Fund—which helps create homes for renters with limited incomes.

It would help produce as many as 600,000 affordable homes by increasing support for initiatives such as the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit.

In addition, the Jobs Plan includes a new tax credit—based on the proposed Neighborhood Homes Investment Act—that can help build and renovate 500,000 homes for buyers of more modest means.

Taken together, the investments found in the American Jobs Plan and the President’s Budget underscore this administration’s commitment to address our affordable crisis head on.

The American Jobs Plan and the President’s 2022 Budget tell the American public we view housing as a foundational platform to help solve our most urgent challenges—to expand security for those who live on the outskirts of hope; to advance opportunity and equity on behalf of marginalized communities; and to help provide every person with a dignified place to call home.

As a member of Congress for nearly 13 years, I have the highest regard for this institution—and thank each of you for the work you do on behalf of the American people.

I look forward to working with this Committee to ensure HUD acts as a responsible steward of the funding entrusted to our Department—and to help make housing-for-all a reality in America.

With that, I am happy to answer any questions you have.

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