President-elect Donald Trump has tapped former neurosurgeon and Republican Presidential nominee Dr. Ben Carson to lead the Federal government’s Housing and Urban Development (HUD) agency.
The announcement was made in a statement released this morning, according to The New York Times. In it, President-elect Trump said he and Dr. Carson “have talked at length about my urban renewal agenda and our message of economic revival, very much including our inner cities.” Throughout his campaign, President-elect Trump portrayed America’s inner cities as a disaster that he vowed to fix. Dr. Carson has no expertise in housing, and while the Times reported that he spent part of his childhood in public housing, that was later disproved by CNN.
Initially, it seemed as though Dr. Carson wasn’t interested in a role in the Trump administration. According to ABC, just last week one of his advisors said he wouldn’t accept any cabinet positions in light of his lack of government experience (which also raised eyebrows, considering he initially ran for the nation’s highest office). But Dr. Carson also remarked to The Washington Post that, “I’ve said that if it came to a point where he absolutely needs me, I’d reconsider. But I don’t think that’s the situation with these positions.”
Created in 1965 as part of President Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society” program, HUD has a $48.3 billion budget which goes toward objectives such as: disaster relief, reducing homelessness, working with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, combating housing discrimination, and building and maintaining single- and multi-family housing across the U.S.
To assume the post, Dr. Carson will need to be approved by the Senate in a simple majority vote.