Blog posted On March 05, 2019
US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson announced he plans to leave his position after President Trump’s first term. During a Monday evening interview on Newsmax TV, Secretary Carson stated, “I will certainly finish out the term. I would be interested in returning to the private sector because I think you have just as much influence, maybe more, there.”
As a retired neurosurgeon with little experience in housing, Dr. Ben Carson was a surprising pick for the position. However, he established his platform on the intrinsic link between health and housing. Last June, he explained, “the poor, the disabled, the elderly, those are the people who are at the greatest risk of health problems related to insecure housing […] it’s a perfect nexus for [HUD] to be working with the Department of Health and Human Services and with multiple agencies to see what we can do to provide safe and affordable housing for our population.”
During his tenure as HUD Secretary, Carson started with a “listening tour” to find out what Americans living in poverty needed to achieve upward mobility. The “listening tour” came under scrutiny because of the involvement of his son and some ethics violations. He focused on implementing more EnVision Centers, an initiative designed to help low-income families access employment, education, and healthcare. Although EnVision Centers have existed for decades, they have not proven successful in enabling families to move out of poverty.
Secretary Carson’s official statement from a HUD spokesperson reads:
“President Donald J. Trump hired me to do a job as the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, and we are making tremendous progress ensuring our most vulnerable citizens are empowered with a path to self-sufficiency. I always stand ready to serve this great President and the United States of America."
Secretary Carson’s predecessor, Former HUD Secretary Julian Castro who served under President Obama from 2014 to 2017, announced in January he will be seeking the Democratic nomination for the 2020 presidential election.