Washington, D.C. — President-elect Donald Trump has nominated Dr. Ben Carson to serve as secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD. Sarah Edelman, Director of Housing Policy at the Center for American Progress, released the following statement:
Affordable, high-quality housing is a pillar of economic stability and a pathway to the middle class. Yet affordable rental housing and homeownership are increasingly out of reach for America’s families. In the face of a growing rental affordability crisis, a rapidly declining homeownership rate, and enduring discrimination within the housing market, the role of the secretary of housing and urban development demands an individual with extensive housing or community development experience.
Dr. Ben Carson does not have the necessary and relevant housing or community development experience that the nation’s many aspiring homeowners and struggling renters desperately need. Dr. Carson is a nominee whose top aide recently acknowledged that “Dr. Carson feels he has no government experience, he’s never run a federal agency. The last thing he would want to do was take a position that could cripple the presidency.” American communities cannot afford to wait for him to get up to speed.
In addition to a lack of knowledge in the areas of housing and community development, his stated opposition to fully enforcing the Fair Housing Act—landmark civil rights legislation that promotes equality within U.S. communities—is a particularly troubling sign.
From its responsibilities running the Federal Housing Administration, or FHA, which supports lending to millions of middle-income Americans, and its role in modernizing and addressing the dearth of housing rental vouchers to its role in protecting the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage and more, HUD plays a critically important role in supporting economic development in communities across the country. HUD makes it possible for first-time homebuyers to purchase a home, helps millions of families avoid homelessness, and over the past eight years, has launched key initiatives to rebuild distressed neighborhoods. Much more needs to be done to help the families and communities that are hurting—many of whom voted for the president-elect.
For more information or to speak with an expert, contact Allison Preiss at email@example.com or 202.478.6331.