Biden’s Housing Secretary Says Student Loan Debt is Limiting Black Homeownership

HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Black Americans hold a disproportionate burden of the $1.7 trillion student debt crisis, and it’s limiting their abilities to own a home.

Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Marcia Fudge told Axios in a Sunday interview that student debt is hindering homeownership for Black people. On Friday, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) announced in a press release it is updating its student loan monthly payment calculations in an effort to “remove barriers and provide more access to affordable single family FHA-insured mortgage financing for creditworthy individuals with student loan debt, which has a disproportionate impact on people of color.”

Fudge said the disproportionately low rate of Black homeownership had driven HUD to reassess student loan calculation policies when determining homeowner assistance, which will increase homeownership access for communities of color.

“Who has student debt? Poor people, Black people, brown people,” Fudge told Axios. “We’re the people who carry most debt. And so the system’s already skewed toward us not being creditworthy.”

Fudge said part of the problem comes down to failures in enforcing the Fair Housing Act. The Act, which passed in 1968, says discrimination against people “because of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, and disability” when dealing with housing-related activities is illegal.

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SOURCE: Business Insider, Ayelet Sheffey

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