Secretary of U.S. Housing and Urban Development visits Jackson with "HUD on the Road”

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Marcia L. Fudge, U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, looks on as U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson speaks on ownership and asset building for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) at Tougaloo College in Jackson, Miss., Wednesday, August 17, 2022.
Marcia L. Fudge, U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, looks on as U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson speaks on ownership and asset building for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) at Tougaloo College in Jackson, Miss., Wednesday, August 17, 2022.

U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia L. Fudge said she chose Jackson to kick off her "HUD on the Road" tour because of the unique set of circumstances Jackson residents here face with homeownership.

"Mississippi has one of the largest low-income populations," Fudge said of her decision to start the tour in Mississippi. "I wanted to start in a place where I feel good things are happening … behind the scenes and to enlighten the community about it."

Fudge spoke with community representatives including U.S. Rep. Bennie Tompson in a roundtable discussion behind closed doors at Tougaloo College on Wednesday morning.

Fudge said she likes the city's connection to Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

"I love the influence of HBCUs," Fudge said. "If we can help those institutions input more into the students it will overall help the community."

Fudge said she plans to work with local banks to help HUD rehabilitate Jackson houses and neighborhoods that are affordable for residents.

Fudge said private investors often to such rehabilitation projects that price the houses out of the market for many residents.

Thompson also spoke during the panel discussion.

"Home insurance is vastly important for any homeowner...especially in low-income communities," Thompson said.

This article originally appeared on Mississippi Clarion Ledger: U.S. Housing and Urban Development held panel discussion at Tougaloo