Ben Carson is set to become Secretary of Housing and Urban Development — provided Congress confirms him. President-elect Donald Trump sent out a statement that he intends to nominate the retired neurosurgeon and former GOP primary contender.
Trump had offered Carson the post back in November, but the Detroit native took his time to formally accept.
“Ben Carson has a brilliant mind and is passionate about strengthening communities and families within those communities,” Trump said in a statement, according to the Wall Street Journal. “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.”
At HUD, Carson would oversee 8,400 employees and a budget of $47.9 billion. The agency oversees the public mortgage insurer Federal Housing Administration, as well a range of programs supporting low-income housing.
Carson, who has no experience in housing policy or leading a government agency, appears philosophically opposed to key pillars of HUD policy. He once described fair housing policy as “social engineering” and has also said he overcame difficult economic circumstances as a child by realizing that “poverty is really more of a choice than anything else.”
Alicia Glen, the New York City Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development, struck a defiant tone following Trump’s nomination of Carson.
“No place has more at stake with HUD than NYC,” she said on Twitter. “Will work to build partnership but determined to fight tooth and nail to hold our ground.” [WSJ] — Konrad Putzier