In response to Dr. Ben Carson’s nomination to run HUD, Paulina Gonzalez, executive director of the California
Reinvestment Coalition, put out this statement today:
“The nomination of Dr. Carson as HUD Secretary could jeopardize protections put in place to undo historical
and deeply entrenched and systemic housing discrimination. Just last year, Dr. Carson called Affirmatively
Furthering Fair Housing a “failed experiment,” calling into question whether he will enforce or overturn the Fair
Housing Act rule meant to ensure that there are proactive plans in place by municipalities that receive HUD
funding to overcome historic patterns of segregation and foster inclusive communities.
His nomination is especially concerning here in California, where we are facing key housing challenges,
including the mass displacement of communities of color. The next leader of HUD should play a constructive
role in addressing these threats to our communities by proactively enforcing rules such as the Affirmatively
Furthering Fair Housing Rule. Instead, the president elect has nominated a HUD Secretary that doesn’t believe
in such protections.
The Wall-Street fueled housing crisis wreaked havoc on our communities, especially for people of color, who
were targeted for the most predatory loans, and who have been less likely to get help with those loans and
keeping their homes. In California, the foreclosure crisis, combined with the so-called “REO to Rental” scheme,
the Wall Street executives who helped create this problem in the first place.
Here in San Francisco, long-term renters, including seniors and low income people, are being displaced by a
tech-fueled boom that has led an astronomical average rent of over $3,500 for a one bedroom apartment. That is
a monthly rent that is unaffordable for working families, and we’ve witnessed an involuntary exodus from San
Francisco and the greater Bay Area as a result.
Dr. Carson’s appointment at HUD would be a disaster for the hundreds of thousands of families who rely in part
on HUD programs for their housing needs, forty percent of which are seniors.”