Carson’s God-and-bootstraps message fails to hearten housing advocates
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God is Ben Carson’s favorite subject. Brain surgery is a close second. Housing is somewhere further down the list.
“I was told that as a government leader, I really shouldn’t talk about God. But I have to tell you, it’s part of who I am,” Carson said last month, in one of his first speeches as Housing and Urban Development secretary.Less than two months into the job, Carson still holds forth on God and neurosurgery, but his views on housing policy remain largely a mystery. While he’s making good on a promised listening tour to learn about the $48 billion agency he now leads, he’s done little public speaking about the urgent issue at hand — a lack of affordable housing.
That’s one reason why early excitement over his nomination has given way to bewilderment and now frustration. Every policy job at the agency remains vacant, and advocates who thought Carson’s celebrity would raise awareness of affordable housing have been disappointed. President Donald Trump doused any remaining hope when he said he would slash HUD funding by 13.2 percent.
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