By Trip Gabriel, nytimes.com
Ben Carson, who took Donald J. Trump on a tour of blighted neighborhoods in Detroit during the presidential campaign, including his boyhood home, has been chosen by Mr. Trump to oversee one of the government’s main efforts to lift American cities as secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Mr. Carson, a retired neurosurgeon, was an early endorser of Mr. Trump after ending his own presidential bid.
“Ben Carson has a brilliant mind and is passionate about strengthening communities and families within those communities,” Mr. Trump said in a statement Monday morning. “We have talked at length about my urban renewal agenda and our message of economic revival, very much including our inner cities.”
“Ben shares my optimism about the future of our country and is part of ensuring that this is a presidency representing all Americans,” he added. “He is a tough competitor and never gives up.”
With no experience in government or running a large bureaucracy, Mr. Carson, 65, publicly waffled over whether to join the administration. He will oversee an agency with a $47 billion budget, bringing to the job a philosophical opposition to government programs that encourage what he calls “dependency” and engage in “social engineering.”
He has no expertise in housing policy, but he did spend part of his childhood in public housing, said a close friend, Armstrong Williams, and he was raised by a dauntless mother with a grammar-school education. In his autobiography he stressed that individual effort, not government programs, were the key to overcoming poverty.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development oversees programs that provide vouchers and other rental assistance for five million low-income families, fights urban blight and helps struggling homeowners stave off foreclosures.
Read more at http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/05/us/politics/ben-carson-housing-urban-development-trump.html?_r=0