Under Ben Carson, HUD Abdicates Fair Housing Responsibilities

Civil rights advocates are claiming that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is no longer in the business of enforcing fair housing laws.
December 28, 2018, 6am PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Mark Van Scyoc

"Though he is charged under the law with eliminating discriminatory housing practices, [HUD Secretary Ben] Carson is also a longtime skeptic of using government power to remedy such inequality," according to an article by Tracy Jan.

Beyond his attempts to roll back the agency’s fair-housing rules, Carson is overseeing a department whose fair-housing budget and staffing have been cut. And, notably, he has departed from the practices of recent Democratic and Republican predecessors of using their secretarial power to root out systemic racial discrimination by launching broad-based investigations into bias by banks, real estate companies and others.

There are more ways to measure Secretary Carson's abdication of his powers of office in policing housing discrimination, including the decision to rescind the Local Government Assessment Tool as part of an effort to overhaul the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule. "Since Carson’s suspension of the rule, communities in Miami and Memphis have stopped participating in regional efforts to analyze housing patterns and disparities in access to jobs and good schools," according to Carson.

Carson's staff responds that HUD is prioritizing individual complaints of discrimination.

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Published on Monday, December 24, 2018 in The Washington Post
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