[HUD Seal]

HUD Deputy Secretary Adrianne Todman Delivers Remarks at National Organization of Black Elected Legislative Women’s Annual Legislative Conference

It is my pleasure to join you today.

While I have never held elected office, I have had the honor of serving in leadership positions at several organizations.

And, while serving in those roles I saw firsthand the importance of representation. The importance of making space for folks of all backgrounds and experiences to hold positions of power.

When Black women serve in leadership positions, we make a sincere promise, and we face a unique opportunity.

Our promise is to dutifully serve on behalf of everyone we serve, no matter their background or station in life.

Our opportunity is to address systemic issues and right past wrongs.

That is a promise the Biden-Harris Administration has made to the American people.

And an opportunity that leaders across the Administration, especially those of us at the Department of Housing and Urban Development have sought to take full advantage of.

At HUD, we have set out to utilize housing as a vehicle through which people can build better lives for themselves and their families.

Our mission, as stated, is to create strong, sustainable and inclusive communities for all. To ensure that our nation’s housing is fair and that everyone in this country has access to a safe place to call home.

Since day-one, our agency under the leadership of the incomparable Secretary Marcia L. Fudge has taken that mission seriously.

Affordability, for both renting and homeownership, has never been lower than it is right now.

Our rising housing costs are years in the making and a big part of the problem is the lack of new housing.

I don’t need to tell you all -- this has a disproportionate impact on communities of color, increasing their already-too-high risk of becoming homeless.

The Biden-Harris Administration and Secretary Fudge understand that this crisis impacts us all. And they are taking historic actions to increase access to affordable housing and combat the homelessness crisis.

We have delivered:

A new $5 billion HOME-ARP Program to help some of the country’s most vulnerable populations.

HUD partnered with the Treasury Department to deploy $46 million in Emergency Rental Assistance.

We have overseen the historic expansion of the Housing Voucher Program, including: Emergency Housing Vouchers delivered through the American Rescue Plan; the most expansive allocation of flexible new rental assistance in 20 years through the Housing Choice Voucher Program; and the first allocation of new Fair Share Vouchers since 2002.

Additionally, we issued new Fair Market Rents that increase the value of vouchers so families can more successfully secure housing in competitive and expensive markets.

And we are expanding access to homeownership and credit-building opportunities for low-income Americans.

All of this work is critical to our efforts to level the playing field. To ensure that the people HUD serves—the vast majority of whom are women, people of color, and families with children—have equal access to opportunity.

But, as state and local leaders you represent the interests of your constituents.

And as such, you are well aware of the challenges they are facing and the unique needs of your communities.

Secretary Fudge and I are acutely aware of the fact that not all communities are alike. And we appreciate what that means when it comes to federal funding: there is no one-size-fits-all approach that will work everywhere.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to rehousing those experiencing homelessness and spending nights on the streets.

There is no one universal solution to ensuring affordable housing availability.

There is no one way to spark community development or spur opportunity for minority-owned small businesses.

But those are all things that HUD, and this Administration, want to help communities across the country accomplish.

So my ask today is: bring us in. Let us collaborate. Let us learn from you about what your community faces and in turn, let us share what resources we have to help.

Advocate for the funding you need. Utilize our existing resources to advance equitable outcomes for the people you serve.

And do not hesitate to lean on us for support.

That is why we are here. Through collaboration, I truly believe we can meet both the promise and opportunity of this moment.

Thank you so much for your leadership.

And, most importantly, thank you for your partnership.