President-elect Trump to Nominate Ben Carson as HUD Secretary

President-elect Trump to Nominate Ben Carson as HUD Secretary

President-elect Trump recently announced that he will nominate Dr. Ben Carson as the new secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Dr. Carson is a former Republican candidate for president and served as the director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Maryland from 1984 until his retirement in 2013. In a written statement, Trump said, "Ben Carson has a brilliant mind and is passionate about strengthening communities and families within those communities." Trump also said, "We have talked at length about my urban renewal agenda and our message of economic revival, very much including our inner cities. Ben shares my optimism about the future of our country and is part of ensuring that this is a Presidency representing all Americans. He is a tough competitor and never gives up."             

In the statement, Carson said, "I am honored to accept the opportunity to serve our country in the Trump administration. I feel that I can make a significant contribution particularly by strengthening communities that are most in need. We have much work to do in enhancing every aspect of our nation and ensuring that our nation's housing needs are met."

Carson has not made many public statements about housing policy. However, during his presidential campaign, in an editorial for the Washington Times, Dr. Carson called the application of fair housing rules under the Obama administration as “experimenting with failed socialism.” He expressed concern that HUD's Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule, "would fundamentally change the nature of some communities from primarily single-family to largely apartment-based areas by encouraging municipalities to strike down housing ordinances that have no overtly (or even intended) discriminatory purpose—including race-neutral zoning restrictions on lot sizes and limits on multi-unit dwellings, all in the name of promoting diversity." And he wrote, “The Obama administration’s new agency rules rely on a tortured reading of the fair housing laws to empower the Department of Housing and Urban Development to ‘affirmatively promote’ fair housing, even in the absence of explicit discrimination.”

Carson then said that there are reasonable ways to use housing policy to enhance the opportunities available to lower-income citizens, but that “entrusting the government to get it right can prove downright dangerous.”