“I am thrilled to nominate Dr. Ben Carson as our next Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development,” Trump said in a statement released today. “Ben Carson has a brilliant mind and is passionate about strengthening communities and families within those communities.”
Trump first mentioned the possibility of nominating Carson – who has no housing experience – in a Nov. 22 tweet. Carson, a retired neurosurgeon, ran against Trump in the primaries, but went on to become one of his highest-profile supporters during the general election.
Carson is a controversial choice not only because of his inexperience, but because many of his statements seem to put him at odds with many of the anti-segregation policies championed by minority groups and fair housing advocates, according to the Post.
“With many qualified Republicans to choose from with deep knowledge of, and commitment to, affordable housing solutions for the poorest families, and with the housing crisis reaching new heights across the country, Dr. Carson’s nomination to serve as HUD Secretary is surprising and concerning,” Diane Yentel, president of the National Low Income Housing Coalition, said in a statement.
Last year, Carson publicly criticized an Obama policy requiring that cities publicly report racial bias in their housing patterns, the Post reported.
“These government engineered attempts to legislate racial equality create consequences that often make matters worse,” Carson wrote in the Washington Times. “There are reasonable ways to use housing policy to enhance the opportunities available to lower-income citizens, but based on the history of failed socialist experiments in this country, entrusting the government to get it right can prove downright dangerous.”
President-elect has officially nominated Dr. Ben Carson to head up the Department of Housing and Urban Development, according to the Washington Post.