An Investigation Into Trump and Carson's HUD
An article by Alec MacGillis tackles one of the enduring questions of planners and urbanists since the dawn of the Trump Administration: "Is Anybody Home at HUD?"
That's the pointed headline, and the summary text gives a quick answer: "A long-harbored conservative dream — the 'dismantling of the administrative state' — is taking place under Secretary Ben Carson."
But the feature-length, investigatory article takes its time in building a case to back that claim, including interviews with past and current department officials, background on the genesis and evolution of the department, and the emergence of a narrative about the HUD under the leadership of President Trump, advisors like Steve Bannon (until recently, anyway), a secretary like Ben Carson.
HUD has emerged as the perfect distillation of the right’s antipathy to governing. If the great radical-conservative dream was, in Grover Norquist’s famous words, to “drown government in a bathtub,” then this was what the final gasps of one department might look like.
Some of the most compelling portions of the article include testimony from staffers on hand throughout the Administration's transition and the first seven months of its activities. MacGillis also spoke with staffers close to Carson during his failed presidential campaign and since.
If you have any interest in federal programs related to housing and development, or just an undying curiosity in the effect of the Trump era on federal government, set aside some time to read the article in full.