The newly confirmed Secretary of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Marcia Fudge was greeted by Press Secretary Jen Psaki in the White House briefing room on Thursday and described what she plans to achieve with redirected funds from the United States Department Adopt the American Rescue Plan Act and describe HUD’s mission in the context of the ongoing pandemic and the additional resources to which HUD now has access.
While the reverse mortgage issue was not specifically addressed during her time in the boardroom on Thursday, other topical issues of interest to the reverse mortgage industry were asked by reporters in the press pool, including whether or not existing foreclosure and eviction moratoriums may or may not exist not extended beyond its current June 30 expiration dates and the status of the department itself as a result of the most recent details about staffing and morale within the HUD.
“HUD staff in every region of the country have worked tirelessly to assist HUD grant recipients and recipients in their response to the pandemic,” Secretary Fudge told reporters. “We have helped homeowners, housing authorities and communities provide additional rental support and support new efforts to eradicate homelessness. We have extended the Federal Housing Administration’s foreclosure and eviction moratoriums to June 30th to meet the immediate and ongoing needs of homeowners. “
When asked whether or not the moratoriums would be extended beyond the end of this month by another reporter, Secretary Fudge was quick to point out that the FHA moratoriums on foreclosures and evictions will not expire until the end of June. However, a general federal eviction moratorium is due to end on March 31.
“Well, I would say first that the HUD moratorium expires on June 30. The CDC is trying to figure out how to do it appropriately, and I hope you will ask them that question,” Fudge replied.
Fudge was also asked about recent reports of decreased work ethic and increased staff complications at HUD, detailed in a recent report published by Politico and cited in a comment this week from RMD. Fudge did not deny there was a problem with the department, and she also said she raised those concerns in an audience with President Biden.
“I’ve actually had a chance to speak to the President about this since I’ve been here,” began Fudge. “We are thousands of people who are not where we should be. Our people are great: they’re understaffed, understaffed, and overworked. But we are going to make some important changes, and very quickly. The [American] The rescue plan enables us to do things that we might not have been able to do without it. So I am particularly pleased that the President had the foresight and vision to give us a historic, perhaps once in a lifetime, opportunity to change developments in housing construction in this country. “
Fudge was also asked about issues of homelessness in major American cities, describing homelessness problems as “high on the list” of housing issues arising from the effects of COVID-19. Regarding actions HUD can take to curb homelessness, Fudge cited housing coupons and the expansion and construction of new affordable homes.
“With the $ 40 billion we have now, we have $ 5 billion to do nothing but tackle homeless problems,” said Fudge. “With these resources over the next 12 to 18 months, we know we can get up to 130,000 people off the streets.”
Secretary Fudge was also asked if she believed there was a real estate bubble in the market right now. While choosing not to weigh this particular question off, she said issues in the marketplace need to be addressed and described that additional data is needed from her agency as well as government sponsored entities (GSEs) before a solid determination can be made for the presence of a bubble.
Watch the White House press conference on government YouTube channel.