The U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs held a hearing today to consider the nomination of Dr. Ben Carson to be Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
Nikitra Bailey, an Executive Vice President for the Center for Responsible Lending's (CRL) released the following statement:
The work of the Department of Housing and Urban Development contributes greatly to helping hard working families pursue their American dreams. Safe, decent, and affordable housing free of discrimination is a vital rung on the opportunity ladder. Dr. Ben Carson's experience and prior statements raise great concerns about his ability to lead HUD and carry out its important mission.
Today, he rightly lauded the Fair Housing Act, and agreed to uphold the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Rule. However, he left questions about his support for a government guarantee for the thirty-year fixed rate mortgage; on the role of the FHA to ensure homeownership access for low-wealth families and communities of color across the nation; and on HUD's recent good decision to lower the FHA mortgage insurance premiums.
Owning a home remains an important building block for families in creating economic stability. Right now, low-wealth families and communities of color are underserved by the housing finance system. If effective programs like the FHA are weakened then that will suppress economic growth across communities that have been left out of the economic recovery. The Department of Housing and Urban Development deserves a strong and capable leader to carry out its mission. The Senate should continue to rigorously examine Dr. Carson's experience and qualifications for this very important role. And we look forward to evaluating the answers he intends to offer the Committee for questions raised.
For more information, or to arrange an interview with a CRL spokesperson on this issue, please contact Ricardo Quinto at firstname.lastname@example.org.