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Ben Carson’s Clear Disdain for Fair and Affordable Housing

Carson has spent much of his time as HUD secretary attacking the housing programs, initiatives, and regulations central to the agency’s mission.
August 26, 2020, 9am PDT | Camille Fink
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U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Gregory Reed

Jeff Andrews looks at Ben Carson’s extensive track record as secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, where he has actively worked to decimate the budgets of housing-assistance programs and eliminate protections for public housing residents.

"But Carson’s splashiest legacy may be the one Trump is currently trying to get the most ideological mileage out of: Carson’s assault on the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule. It seems that Trump wants suburban voters to believe that AFFH is a threat to their treasured white-picket-fence lifestyle," says Andrews.

Carson in the past has supported the elimination of single-family zoning to encourage the development of affordable housing. But he has changed his stance, as reflected in a recent joint op-ed with President Trump in the The Wall Street Journal about protecting America’s suburbs and his subsequent rescinding of the AFFH rule.

Andrews points out that fortunately few of Carson’s initiatives have come to fruition. "Assuming Carson follows through with his pledge to leave the administration after Trump’s first term, the AFFH debacle will be the final battle in Carson’s assault on the fair-housing legacy of the nation’s first Black president. In response to the dustup around AFFH, Carson tweeted that he is 'unwavering in my commitment to fair housing.'"

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Published on Monday, August 17, 2020 in Curbed
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