President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team announced this morning that he has selected Dr. Ben Carson to be his Administration’s Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Carson is 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.
A Trump statement released today says, “Ben Carson has a brilliant mind and is passionate about strengthening communities and families within those communities.” It also says, “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. In an interview with Fox News after President-elect Trump had tweeted November 22 that he was seriously considering Carson for HUD, Carson said he would be a good fit for HUD because he grew up in the “inner city…and our inner cities are in terrible shape, and they definitely need some real attention…there have been so many promises made over the last several decades, and nothing has been done, so it certainly is something that has been a long-term interest…”
Carson also posted November 23 on his Facebook page, “[A]fter serious discussions with the Trump transition team, I feel that I can make a significant contribution particularly to making our inner cities great for everyone. We have much work to do in strengthening every aspect of our nation and ensuring that both our physical infrastructure and our spiritual infrastructure is solid. An announcement is forthcoming about my role in helping to make America great again.”
Carson expressed concern during his presidential campaign 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.”
The Senate Banking Committee will consider Carson’s nomination as HUD Secretary.