The full Senate is expected to vote this week to confirm Dr. Ben Carson to serve as HUD secretary. In his confirmation hearing before the Senate Banking Committee and in written responses to questions for the record, Dr. Carson committed to expanding and improving federal housing programs and to enforcing federal fair housing law. Once confirmed, NLIHC will work with Dr. Carson to follow through on these commitments to ensure that the lowest income people in America have decent, affordable and accessible homes.
At his confirmation hearing, Dr. Carson stated his belief that the federal government has an important role to play in supporting deeply poor households and families. He gave strong support to rental assistance programs, public housing, VASH vouchers, Community Development Block Grants, Choice Neighborhoods, and lead abatement programs, and he recognized the role housing plays as a social determinant of health. He acknowledged that fair housing is the “law of the land” and committed to upholding and implementing the law.
In his written responses to questions from Ranking Member Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-WA), Dr. Carson stated that he “will absolutely commit” to advocating for housing to be included in the president’s infrastructure package, agreed to consider hiring additional staff to enforce federal fair housing laws, and gave support to increasing efforts to help formerly incarcerated people reintegrate into their communities. Dr. Carson stated that he is “a fan of the Low Income Housing Tax Credit” and that healthy housing will be one of his priorities. He promised to “call for continued investment to end homelessness for veterans, the chronically homeless, and children and families.”
Dr. Carson affirmed that he will advocate for increasing resources for affordable housing for people with the lowest incomes. “When it comes to deep affordability, though, removing all regulatory barriers won’t get you there,” Dr. Carson wrote. “It comes down to subsidy. Subsidy levels haven’t changed appreciably under Democratic or Republican administrations. I think we can all agree that we will all make sure housing is a key consideration in every appropriations bill.”
Moreover, Dr. Carson also promised to “recruit a bipartisan list of practitioners, not ideologues, to serve as assistant secretaries.”
Dr. Carson’s responses to NLIHC’s top 10 questions: http://bit.ly/2hFAdKK
NLIHC President and CEO Diane Yentel’s statement: http://bit.ly/2fGHXM3
Senator Brown’s press statement about his vote for Dr. Carson’s nomination and Dr. Carson’s written responses to Mr. Brown’s questions can be found at: http://bit.ly/2kjhl6l
Senator Elizabeth Warren’s (D-MA) press statement about her vote for Dr. Carson’s nomination and Dr. Carson’s written responses to Ms. Warren’s questions can be found at: http://bit.ly/2j8508f