Whether he is talking about U.S. Office of Housing and Urban Development budget cuts, praising organizations like Motor City Match for driving tasty entrepreneurship in Detroit or quietly attending housing listening sessions in Texas, a consortium of affordable housing advocates are trolling HUD Secretary Ben Carson.
They are writing stories about what he says, tweets and said previously to the Senate in his confirmation hearings. A review of their recent articles reveals their perspective quickly. CarsonWatch is astonished that the secretary praises HUD-supported work in comments to live housing audiences when President Donald Trump’s proposed budget would actually eliminate that work.
Carson has perplexed those that work and cover affordable housing, like Diane Yentel, President and CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition and the Atlantic’s CityLab because of those cuts. Yentel released her statement March 16th because the proposed budget cuts overall HUD funding by 13 percent, or $6.2 billion compared to 2016 levels, adding that Carson “reneged on the commitments he made during his confirmation process.”
Particularly egregious to most housing advocates is the elimination of the 40+-year old Community Development Block Grants.
After Carson’s confirmation hearings, Yentel said she was relieved that he gave strong support to rental assistance programs, public housing, VASH vouchers, Community Development Block Grants, Choice Neighborhoods and lead abatement programs. “He recognized the role housing plays as a social determinant of health. He acknowledged that fair housing is the ‘law of the land’ and committed to upholding and implementing the law,” she said then.
So, CarsonWatch, which is powered by Public Advocates in collaboration with the Poverty & Race Research Action Council, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and PolicyLink, is #PagingDrCarson because they say he is “giving the public little if any advance notice about his visits” prior to arrival on his listening tour.
Whether you agree or disagree, you can use CarsonWatch to find out about Secretary Carson’s appearances and the things he says on his tour. As of today, HUD’s website has not posted Carson’s speeches, nor press releases about the listening tour.