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Trump Makes Carson HUD Secretary Choice Official

Mortgage News

The president-elect has made official his choice to run the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Unlike some of his recent predecessors, the pick has no housing experience.

Last month,
the Donald J. Trump posted on Twitter that he was seriously considering his former GOP rival for the Republican presidential nominee Dr. Ben Carson as the head of HUD.

In the Nov. 22 Twitter post, the billionaire explained that he had gotten to know Carson, who is a brain surgeon, well. Trump added, “he’s a greatly talented person who loves people.”

On Monday, Trump issued a formal statement indicating
his intent to nominate Carson a HUD secretary.

“I am honored to accept the opportunity to serve our country in the Trump administration,” Carson said in the statement. “I feel that I can make a significant contribution particularly by strengthening communities that are most in need.”

Carson would come to the job with no prior housing experience.

While current HUD Secretary
Julián Castro had not officially served at a government housing agency, he was mayor of San Antonio, Texas, during a period when an initiative was launched to spark investment in the center city and older neighborhoods, according to HUD. The effort reportedly attracted $350 million in private sector investment that was expected to produce more than 2,400 housing units by the end of 2014.

Shaun Donovan, who was secretary of HUD before Castro,
worked for a non-profit lender and developer of affordable housing in New York and also researched and wrote about housing policy at the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University.

Both Castro and Donovan were nominated by President Barack H. Obama.

During the George W. Bush Administration, Mel Martinez took over as HUD secretary in 2001. Among the public service jobs he previously held was chairman of the Orlando Housing Authority in Orlando, Florida.

During the Clinton administration, Andrew M. Cuomo was named HUD secretary in 1997. Before taking over the agency, he served as an assistant HUD secretary beginning in 1993.

Mortgage Bankers Association President and Chief Executive Officer David H. Stevens, a staunch liberal who served in the Obama administration as Federal Housing Commissioner, issued a statement
congratulating Carson and saying that the trade group looks forward to working with Carson.

“MBA wishes Dr. Carson and the rest of the administration success as they get ready to embark upon these next four years,” Stevens added.

Also congratulating Carson in a written statement was National Association of Home Builders Chairman Ed Brady.

“He is a thoughtful leader who is sure to assemble a professional team of policy experts and be a great spokesperson for housing,” Brady stated.

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