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Home » Done – It’s Ben Carson as Housing Secretary

Done – It’s Ben Carson as Housing Secretary

Ben Carson Nominated

Dr. Ben Carson doesn’t need an introduction, but you may want to read the Washington Times article he published July 23, 2015 immediately after HUD published the the AFFH rule in the Federal Register.  Read Ben’s Washington Times article about AFFH, click Experimenting with Failed Socialism Again

Dr. Carson served as director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital – where he became the youngest physician to head a major division – for almost 30 years.

WSJ – Donald Trump to Nominate Ben Carson as Housing Secretary

Dr. Carson would be the first African-American appointed to a senior position so far during the transition

President-elect Donald Trump intends to nominate retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson as secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, a move that would put one of Mr. Trump’s one-time adversaries into a key administration post.

At one point during the GOP primary, Mr. Carson had emerged as Mr. Trump’s top rival, and Mr. Trump sought to discredit his personal story of emerging from poverty during his youth.

The December 2015 terror attacks in San Bernardino, Calif., also helped bump Mr. Carson from the top tier of candidates, and he eventually moved to back Mr. Trump, with the two men eventually becoming close.

“Ben Carson has a brilliant mind and is passionate about strengthening communities and families within those communities,” Mr. Trump said in a statement. “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.”

Mr. Carson would be the first African-American appointed to a senior position by Mr. Trump so far during the transition.

His background is in health care. He would be the second doctor to be appointed to Mr. Trump’s cabinet, in addition to Rep. Tom Price (R., Ga.), the pick to lead the Department of Health and Human Services. President Barack Obama has tapped HUD secretaries with backgrounds in housing or local government, but Mr. Trump is breaking with that model.

“I feel that I can make a significant contribution particularly by strengthening communities that are most in need,” Mr. Carson said in a statement. “We have much work to do in enhancing every aspect of our nation and ensuring that our nation’s housing needs are met.”

HUD, with a budget of $47.9 billion and some 8,400 employees, has played critical roles stabilizing the housing market after last decade’s boom and bust. The federal government currently insures one in every six new home-purchase mortgages made through the Federal Housing Administration, which is part of HUD, and the department oversees funding for some 1.2 million low-income households in public housing units managed by some 3,300 local housing agencies.

Under the Obama administration, the department has beefed up enforcement of fair housing regulations to combat zoning policies that result in segregation, threatening the loss of millions in federal funding to municipalities that don’t comply. This year’s Republican platform criticized that enforcement, which it said “threatens to undermine zoning laws to socially engineer every community in the country.”

In the Obama administration, the department was headed by Shaun Donovan, who previously served as New York City’s housing commissioner, and Julián Castro, the former mayor of San Antonio.

Mr. Carson was the director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins until he retired in 2013.  He said several weeks ago that he was offered the job to be Secretary of Health and Human Services in the Trump administration, at the time suggesting he had no interest in working in a federal position.

“I don’t particularly want to work inside the government,” Mr. Carson said on a conference call with conservatives at the time.

Be he wrote on Facebook several days later that he had a change of heart.

“After 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,” Mr. Carson wrote during the week of Thanksgiving.

Mr. Carson wasn’t well-known nationally before the 2016 election, but his low-key style and positive message won over many conservative voters looking for a change from a smash-mouth style of politics. He often advocated for more personal responsibility and less government involvement in people’s lives.

Write to Damian Paletta at damian.paletta@wsj.com

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