Ben Carson may soon oversee the country's affordable housing. Yes, that Ben Carson. - Grist


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Ben Carson may soon oversee the country’s affordable housing. Yes, that Ben Carson.

Carson, a retired neurosurgeon and right-wing pundit, told Fox News that President-elect Trump has asked him to be Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. (Trump tweeted that he is “seriously considering” Carson for the post.)

Carson has already turned down a chance to be Trump’s Secretary of Health and Human Services on the grounds that he is unprepared to run a federal agency. So how is HUD any different? Good question.

Carson lacks any relevant experience. HUD is charged with developing affordable and inclusive housing. Under the Obama administration, it has promoted smart-growth goals, such as linking low-income housing with mass transit.

During Carson’s unsuccessful campaign for the Republican presidential nomination, he never proposed any policies to promote low-cost or integrated housing. Asked on Fox about his knowledge of HUD’s work, Carson pointed to his experience growing up in a city.

Trump is also reportedly considering Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino to run HUD. Under Astorino, the county has failed to comply with a 2009 settlement in which it agreed to build more affordable housing.

So Trump will nominate either someone wholly unqualified or someone who opposes affordable housing. It’s almost as if the luxury real-estate developer once sued for discriminating against black tenants doesn’t care about affordability or integration.