U.S. HUD secretary in Columbus speaking on affordable housing

Published: Oct. 13, 2022 at 10:25 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 13, 2022 at 10:26 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Owning a home is a significant and costly step. But, a program called ‘HUD on the Road’ brought U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary to the Chattahoochee Valley this afternoon.

Congressman Sanford Bishop, who represents Georgia’s second congressional district, came to introduce Marcia Fudge at the neighborhood works office in Columbus.

During the press conference, Secretary Marcia Fudge said she is working with the Biden Administration to reverse the things that have been done wrong for so long in underserved communities. Fudge says it’s essential for everyone to have the opportunity to be a homeowner.

Secretary Fudge says we know people who rent and pay their rent regularly can afford a mortgage, but most don’t have the down payment. She says as a public servant, her and the Biden administration is working to change that.

“The president has requested $100 million in down payment assistance,” says Secretary Fudge

Fudge says they are working to provide down payment assistance and help those who may have student loans blocking their way to homeownership.

“And we know in communities like ours, Black and Brown and poor communities, that when you go for a mortgage, most of us have student loan debt that prevents most of us from being able to purchase and own a home. We have neutralized student loans, so it’s no longer an impediment for you to buy a house,” says Secretary Fudge

Fudge says housing is a crisis all across this country, and with it being a crisis, some people end up homeless.

“Congressman Bishop, the appropriators gave us $10 billion to address homelessness 10 billion, so we are working every day to make sure that in this the greatest nation in the world, people don’t have to sleep on the streets or under a bridge or by the beach people can live with dignity that all of us deserve,” says Secretary Fudge

Secretary Fudge and the Biden Administration say the government hasn’t been designed to work for poor people and wants to change that dynamic.

“This country has historically discriminated against certain people, especially the poor. The government is not designed to work for the poor people, so it is my job, and the job of all of the rest of us to change that dynamic and say that it can, and This is why this is what we can do,” says Secretary Fudge

While Secretary Fudge was in town, city leaders and nonprofit organizations could ask questions about funding and how to receive it during a roundtable discussion.