Ben Carson is the current secretary of Housing and Urban Development. However, the person who was previously in the role was Julian Castro who is currently running for president. Sadly, Carson has been rolling back the historic changes Casto made and the Texas native did not hold back when discussing him.
Castro answered, “It just doesn’t seem like he really believes in the mission of the organization. This administration thinks that if you’re poor, there’s something wrong with you. I don’t believe that. I know there are a lot of hardworking folks there or people who have been hardworking their whole lives and then they run into challenges in their life… So I don’t see people who are poor as any less than anybody else.”
He continued, “When I was there, I wanted to make sure that we could deliver the tools that folks could use to ensure that they’re on the path they want to be in life, whether it was Internet access or we started working more closely with health and human services around health care and housing. We sent out guidance to housing authorities across the country that said, ‘Just because somebody has a criminal record doesn’t mean that you should automatically x them out from being able to live in public housing.’ … I just wish that this administration would spend more time actually investing in the very hardworking and deserving people who live in public housing. I believe that if we lift them that they will help lift America.”
Castro also mentioned Carson’s own humble beginnings, “Secretary Carson in his own upbringing, I don’t think he lived in public housing, but he grew up in tough circumstances… I wish that they would extend that ladder down and help folks be able to rise and climb them themselves instead of pulling that ladder out and not giving them the same opportunity that a lot of them have.”
Carson has been a complete disaster at HUD. Most recently, according to Politico, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has determined Carson broke the law by buying a $31,000 dining room set for his office and $8,000 dishwasher in the office kitchen. “Agencies are required to notify Congress of expenditures over $5,000 to furnish an executive’s office.”
Congress was reportedly not notified and Carson allegedly canceled the dining room set when the story broke early last year. No word about the dishwasher.
Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.), the top Democrat on the Senate Appropriations subcommittee in charge of HUD, said in a statement that this apparent crime was “another example of the Trump administration trying to cast aside the law if it doesn’t suit them.”
HUD officials have not commented on the decision from the GAO but supposedly HUD officials will set up a task force in the department to “improve its internal procedures.” HUD also instituted a mandatory review process “under which both its Office of Administration and Office of the Chief Financial Officer must approve all obligations or expenditures for covered purchases that affect any offices of any of HUD’s presidentially appointed officials,” according to the GAO.
The New York Times reported on the dining set and its price tag in February 2018, just after HUD announced plans to slash funding for the homeless, elderly and poor.