Marcia Fudge, secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, said in a statement she is stepping down later this month.

For three years, Fudge, 71, has been the presidentially appointed, Senate-confirmed leader at HUD, which took the country through a COVID-19-fueled housing crisis. In her remarks, she said she is stepping down “with mixed emotions” effective March 22.

“On Day One, Marcia got to work rebuilding the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and over the past three years she has been a strong voice for expanding efforts to build generational wealth through homeownership and lowering costs and promoting fairness for America’s renters,” President Joe Biden said in a statement Monday.

Fudge offered no specifics on the timing of her departure, saying only that she planned to “transition to life as a private citizen” and continue her calling there.

Her departure, first reported by USA Today, leaves a high-level vacancy at an agency that was deeply involvement in rental assistance programs during the pandemic and efforts to make homeownership attainable for middle-class and lower-income communities. As the second Black woman in history to lead the cabinet, Fudge oversaw a workforce of 8,200 federal employees and an annual budget of $214 billion.

Yet her departure comes at a critical time when the Biden administration is both looking to make a reelection campaign and a case for funding its priority programs for fiscal 2025. The White House said in its budget request that it is making another push to end homelessness among vulnerable populations by funding a $37 billion low-income housing tax credit expansion and requesting $7.5 billion for HUD rental assistance contracts.

Members of the Congressional Black Caucus, of which Fudge was a chair during her tenure as a former Ohio congresswoman, applauded her leadership, saying she supported “nearly a quarter of a million Black people in purchasing a home and has taken significant steps to root out racial bias in the home appraisal process.”

Deputy Secretary Adrianne Todman will serve as acting secretary, per the White House.

So far, President Biden’s cabinet turnover is 7%, which is low compared to previous administrations, according to the Brookings Institution. Labor Secretary Marty Walsh was the last secretary to leave a position.

With reporting by the AP.

Molly Weisner is a staff reporter for Federal Times where she covers labor, policy and contracting pertaining to the government workforce. She made previous stops at USA Today and McClatchy as a digital producer, and worked at The New York Times as a copy editor. Molly majored in journalism at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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