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Ben Carson

HUD Secretary Ben Carson discusses fair housing at Governor’s Prayer Breakfast

Ben Carson, an outspoken Christian and secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, was the keynote speaker at the Governor’s Prayer Breakfast on Thursday in Jefferson City. He had been scheduled to speak a year ago but was forced to cancel because of the government shutdown at the time.

Carson said he will work to streamline fair-housing enforcement. He said Obama-era regulations led to 63 percent of HUD submissions getting rejected or requiring major changes.

“It wasn’t solving anything,” Carson said. “So we had to go and say, ‘What is the real cause of segregation?’ It’s economic. People cannot afford to live anywhere else. So we have economic segregation.”

The proposed rule would make it easer for local governments to meet regulations.

“They have to demonstrate what are the three things that are precluding the development of affordable housing and then give us a reasonable plan for how they are going to address that,” he said. “Future funding obviously will be influenced by what they’re able to do. It doesn’t roll back anything,”

VIDEO: Carson talks about HUD and fair housing

The Fair Housing Equal Opportunity Office is more active than it’s ever been, Carson said.

“All you have to do is go and look at the cases,” he said. “We’re not rolling back anything. But we’re talking about doing things in a logical and an effective way. I know that ruffles a lot of feathers. People like to do stuff the way that it’s been done. But coming from a scientific background, I’m for looking at evidence – not for looking at how things actually work.”

Carson also expects consequences against a Kansas City property company under federal investigation. He would not elaborate about the situation involving TEH Realty, which has failed to meet federal guidelines for 81 residences. KMBC-TV reports the properties have major safety and health concerns and that the problems could end up forcing residents to move.

–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice

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