President-elect Joe Biden plans to nominate Ohio Congresswoman Marcia Fudge as the Secretary of the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, according to multiple news reports. If confirmed, Fudge would be the first Black woman in decades to run the department and second only to Patricia Roberts Harris, who had the job under President Jimmy Carter.

As a Congress Woman from Ohio, Fudge represents parts of Cleveland and Akron, and her nomination has bee widely applauded as representative of Biden's commitment to diversity. "President-elect Biden's reported selection of Congresswoman Marcia Fudge of Ohio as his nominee for Secretary of the US Department of Housing and Urban Development emphasizes his commitment to expanding housing opportunity and combating racial disparities in our housing system," said Marc Landis, managing partner of Phillips Nizer LLP and chair of the firm's Real Estate Practice.

Housing issues are currently front and center with affordability issues plaguing many parts of the country and the pandemic putting more pressure on housing costs. Many CRE players had been pounding a warning drum about affordability issues. In 2018, housing affordability had hit a 10-year low, and the deterioration of affordability was accelerating. The pandemic has only put more pressure on housing issues. In early December, rent collections declined compared to November, likely as a result of increasing economic pressures related to the coronavirus pandemic, and many housing organizations are calling on Congress to provide rent relief.

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Kelsi Maree Borland

Kelsi Maree Borland is a freelance journalist and magazine writer based in Los Angeles, California. For more than 5 years, she has extensively reported on the commercial real estate industry, covering major deals across all commercial asset classes, investment strategy and capital markets trends, market commentary, economic trends and new technologies disrupting and revolutionizing the industry. Her work appears daily on GlobeSt.com and regularly in Real Estate Forum Magazine. As a magazine writer, she covers lifestyle and travel trends. Her work has appeared in Angeleno, Los Angeles Magazine, Travel and Leisure and more.