Ben Carson selection as next HUD leader divides housing industry
Some welcome new secretary while others criticize the pick
Just hours after Ben Carson, retired neurosurgeon and GOP presidential candidate, accepted President-elect Donald Trump’s nomination as the secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the housing industry is already reacting to the news.
Trump's team put out an official statement on the President-elect's Facebook page.
From the post:
President-Elect Donald J. Trump Intends to Nominate Dr. Ben Carson as Secretary of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Some housing experts congratulated the new nominee, and took the opportunity to say what they think the new HUD secretary should focus on.
“CHLA congratulates Dr. Ben Carson on his nomination to be HUD Secretary,” said Scott Olson, Community Home Lenders Association executive director. “We urge him to focus on continuing the strong progress in FHA's financial health, and on ending the overcharging of FHA premiums, by taking prompt steps to cut annual premiums and end the Life of Loan premium policy instituted three years ago.”
And they weren’t the only ones to step in with their congratulations for Carson.
“Realtors know that the incoming secretary of Housing and Urban Development has a big job ahead,” said William Brown, National Association of Realtors president. “Potential homebuyers face a range of hurdles, from rising prices to mortgage credit that’s burdened by fees and extra costs.”
“We congratulate Dr. Carson on accepting this important challenge and wish him the very best of luck in meeting the task ahead,” Brown said. “While we’ve made great strides in recent years, far more can be done to put the dream of homeownership in reach for more Americans.”
Even the Mortgage Bankers Association joined in with their congratulations.
“On behalf of the MBA I want to congratulate Dr. Ben Carson on being chosen to be nominated as the Secretary of HUD,” MBA President and CEO David Stevens said. “Housing is one of the largest contributors to the health and success of the overall economy, and as such we must continue to recognize its significance.”
“MBA looks forward to working with Dr. Carson in helping to build out a well-rounded team of housing experts, with a deep technical understanding of the issues, at HUD, FHA and Ginnie Mae,” Stevens said. “MBA wishes Dr. Carson and the rest of the administration success as they get ready to embark upon these next four years.”
But this positive response to the nomination was not unanimous. In fact, some housing experts were highly critical of the pick.
Brandon Friedman, who was the former public relations expert at HUD sent out a tweet about what experts at HUD are saying today:
HUD folks today on Ben Carson:— Brandon Friedman (@BFriedmanDC) December 5, 2016
Like asking "an affording housing expert to perform brain surgery"
"Makes zero sense"
And he isn’t the only one voicing concerns over the pick. Nancy Pelosi, minority leader of the House and the current highest ranking Democrat, also posted her criticism on Twitter.
Back when Carson’s nomination was still just a rumor, reactions to his nomination varied wildly. Many were confused about Carson’s nomination to HUD, given his background as a neurosurgeon, and some even go as far as to say this nomination proves the new administration doesn’t care about housing.
On the other hand, as HousingWire's Brena Swanson explains here, his nomination has certainly put the public’s attention on the position.
However, for better or for worse, it’s now official, Carson will serve as the next HUD secretary. Time will tell what that truly means for the industry.