In the early hours of Monday morning, former Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson was announced as Donald Trump‘s Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Carson, a retired neurosurgeon with no experience in government or running a large bureaucracy, was an early endorser of Mr. Trump after ending his own presidential bid.
Via NY Times:
Carson, 65, publicly waffled over whether to join the administration. He will oversee an agency with a $47 billion budget, bringing to the job a philosophical opposition to government programs that encourage what he calls “dependency” and engage in “social engineering.”
He has no expertise in housing policy, but he did spend part of his childhood in public housing, said a close friend, Armstrong Williams, and he was raised by a dauntless mother with a grammar-school education. In his autobiography he stressed that individual effort, not government programs, were the key to overcoming poverty.
In a statement released Monday morning, President-elect Trump said:
“Ben Carson has a brilliant mind and is passionate about strengthening communities and families within those communities. We have talked at length about my urban renewal agenda and our message of economic revival, very much including our inner cities.”
“Ben shares my optimism about the future of our country and is part of ensuring that this is a presidency representing all Americans,” he added. “He is a tough competitor and never gives up.”
The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development oversees programs that provide vouchers and other rental assistance for five million low-income families, fights urban blight, and helps struggling homeowners stave off foreclosures. The current Secretary of Housing is Julián Castro. Castro was sworn in as the 16th Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on July 28, 2014. Before Castro was Shaun Donovan, the first Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development under the Obama administration.
According to the official website, the Secretary of Housing oversees 8,000 employees and a budget of $46 billion, using a performance-driven approach to achieve the Department’s mission of expanding opportunity for all Americans.