Washington, DC – Today, in response to the confirmation of Dr. Ben Carson as secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) President and CEO Diane Yentel made the following statement:
NLIHC congratulates Dr. Ben Carson on his confirmation as HUD secretary and looks forward to working with him to ensure that the lowest income people in America have decent, accessible and affordable homes.
In his confirmation hearing before the Senate Banking Committee and in written responses to questions for the record, Dr. Carson stated his belief that the federal government has an important role to play in supporting deeply poor households and families. He committed to expanding and improving federal housing programs and to enforcing federal fair housing laws. He gave strong support to rental assistance programs, public housing, Veterans Affairs Supportive 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 addition, Dr. Carson committed 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 supported increasing efforts to help formerly incarcerated people reintegrate into their communities. Dr. Carson praised the Low Income Housing Tax Credit and said 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.”
NLIHC stands ready to work with Dr. Carson to follow through on these commitments and to work together to end homelessness and housing poverty in America.
Dr. Carson’s responses to NLIHC’s top 10 questions are at: http://bit.ly/2hFAdKK
Established in 1974 by Cushing N. Dolbeare, the National Low Income Housing Coalition is dedicated solely to achieving socially just public policy that assures people with the lowest incomes in the United States have affordable and decent homes.