After months of waiting, on Thursday Ben Carson was confirmed and sworn in as HUD Secretary, with a final Senate vote of 58-41. “I am immensely grateful and deeply humbled to take on such an important role in service to the American people,” said Secretary Carson.
Carson wasn't the only figure making a statement upon this news, the industry was swift to voice their opinion on this next chapter for the housing agency as well.
“Dr. Carson should be proud of his achievement. The task at hand is a big one, and we applaud his commitment to the challenges that lie ahead,” said NAR President William E. Brown. “[W]e’ve seen changes in markets, in Washington and in the business of our Realtor members. But there’s a reason that homeownership is called the ‘American Dream,’ and that hasn’t changed one bit."
“Homeownership helps build communities and build wealth for families,” Brown continues. “And we know that the policies set in Washington can make a real difference for Americans as they work to realize their dream of homeownership.”
“The Senate’s decision to confirm Dr. Ben Carson as Secretary of HUD displays their faith in the qualities, skills, and experience, which Carson has acquired throughout his impressive career,” stated Ed Delgado, President and CEO of The Five Star Institute and former Wells Fargo and Freddie Mac executive. “We look forward to the advancements that he will bring to the development of housing in under-served areas.”
Executive Director of U.S. Mortgage Insurers (USMI) Lindsey Johnson released a statement regarding Carson’s proposed policies. “The U.S. mortgage insurance industry welcomes Secretary Carson’s statements that more private capital needs to be brought into the mortgage market,” said Johnson. “Private MI shields the government and taxpayers from mortgage-related risks in the U.S. housing market that is available during both good and bad housing market cycles.”
In their recent statement, the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) notes the housing challenges across the country. "There is much work to be done,” said NCRC CEO and President John Taylor. "It is critical that he build on the agency’s work to affirmatively further fair housing, prevent homelessness, increase homeownership opportunities through the Federal Housing Administration, ensure strong enforcement of the nation’s fair housing laws, and ensure that the nation’s housing programs are adequately funded so that all Americans have access to safe, affordable housing."
"Dr. Carson has been entrusted with these important duties," Taylor continues. "He has the opportunity to have an enormous and positive impact in America's communities, if he carries out those duties thoughtfully and compassionately. We will be closely monitoring the Trump Administration and Dr. Carson's progress in carrying out the mission of the agency.”
Dr. Richard Green, Director and Chair of the USC Lusk Center for Real Estate, spoke to MReport on the challenges Dr. Carson will face in his new role. "You need technical expertise in order to interpret the financial reporting that comes out of FHA on an annual basis, and for all of his skills, Dr. Carson doesn’t have training or expertise in how you evaluate the financials of a government insurance program," said Dr. Green. "And he doesn’t need to, but he needs to have someone strong in place to do that for him, and that somebody just doesn’t exist right now."
How Carson will staff HUD is a topic DS News will be following closely now that Carson has been sworn in.