Ben Carson Supports Rental Assistance

Ben Carson Supports Eliminating “Welfare Reliance” Which He Claims Devastates Low-Income Households

The Senate held a confirmation hearing for U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary nominee Ben Carson on January 12, 2017.

On the importance and significance of the hearing, Slate reported that “HUD has a budget of more than $50 billion. It deals with issues that affect millions of Americans in often intimate ways. It wields immense influence over the physical landscape of the country, from cities and suburbs to exurbs and rural hamlets. If he’s to run a functional agency, Carson needs to have actual knowledge and expertise.”

In response to the confirmation hearing, Diane Yentel, President and CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition, wrote in an issued statement,

“Contrary to what he had previously said, I was pleased to hear Dr. Carson state 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.”

National Public Radio (NPR)’s Pam Fessler reported that “Carson said he thinks there definitely is a role for government aid but that safety net programs should help people become self-sufficient.”

But Yentel also expressed concern, “While touting these important programs and agreeing to enforce fair housing, Dr. Carson unfortunately reiterated President-elect Donald Trump’s commitment to cut non-defense discretionary spending by 1% annually … Given the inflationary increases needed in HUD’s programs, such a reduction could amount to cuts as deep as 30% by 2026, devastating housing programs for the lowest income people.”

Yentel concluded, “To that end, Dr. Carson’s commitment to advocate for HUD’s programs within the administration was a positive and welcomed one. Once confirmed, the National Low Income Housing Coalition is committed to working with Dr. Carson to ensure that the lowest income people in America have decent, affordable and accessible homes.”

Slate Coverage

Diane Yentel’s Statement

NPR Coverage

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