HUD ‘took disaster aid seriously’ under Marcia Fudge

By Thomas Frank | 03/12/2024 06:47 AM EDT

The outgoing Housing secretary boosted HUD disaster aid, but a major overhaul is unfinished.

HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge.

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia Fudge discusses resilience infrastructure projects in Miami. Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Housing Secretary Marcia Fudge helped accelerate disaster aid for homeless people, but a major overhaul of one of the nation’s largest disaster programs remains incomplete.

Fudge, who announced Monday that she is leaving the Department of Housing and Urban Development, is praised by advocates for creating a new grant program to help unhoused people after disasters. But her most significant effort to overhaul HUD disaster response — to make aid more equitable — has “been slow” to launch, according to a housing advocacy group, leaving the initiative unfinished as the department faces an uncertain future of being led by a new appointee in the heat of an election year.

That has made advocates antsy about the overhaul launched in late 2022. It was described in the Federal Register as an effort to “adopt a revised process” for allocating disaster aid that would direct more money to needier communities and people.


The revision was hailed by advocates who had complained for years that too much HUD disaster aid was going to affluent people and neighborhoods. An E&E News investigation found that millions of dollars in HUD aid had gone to owners of multimillion-dollar homes in exclusive towns in Connecticut.