Mortgage

Trump: I am “seriously considering” Ben Carson for HUD secretary

President-elect tweets about adding former primary opponent to cabinet

Well, it turns out that there are more than just two names being considered by President-elect Donald Trump and his team to serve as the secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development in the Trump Administration.

So far, reports identified Pam Patenaude, who currently serves as the president of the J. Ronald Terwilliger Foundation for Housing America's Families, and Robert Woodson, who runs the Center for Neighborhood Enterprise in Washington, D.C., as potential HUD secretaries under Trump.

To this point, Trump has not commented on either Patenaude or Woodson, but Trump himself just threw another hat into the HUD ring — Ben Carson.

On Tuesday, Trump took to Twitter and said that he is “strongly considering” Carson, who was among Trump’s opponents in the Republican primary, to serve as HUD secretary.

Trump said that he’s “gotten to know (Carson) well” and feels he is a “greatly talented person who loves people.”

Carson, through his business manager said recently that he did not want to serve in Trump’s cabinet, but he told Fox News on Sunday that he is reconsidering and would be “open” to serving in the Trump Administration.

“Basically, I’ve said my preference is to be outside and to act as an adviser, but if after going through the process they all conclude it would be much better to have me in the Cabinet, I would have to give that very serious consideration,” Carson told Fox News. “It’s just not my preference.”

As Bloomberg’s Joe Light pointed out on Twitter, Carson commented on the Federal Housing Administration in January, suggesting that the government should use “secret shoppers” to monitor all government agencies, including the FHA.

From TheHill.com back in January:

“When you have a problem and you go to the Federal Housing Administration and you talk to somebody and it takes you four hours before they blow you off and you don’t get anything done, I want to know about those kinds of things,” he said.

“I want to know what can be done about those kinds of things. The American people should not be subject to that.”

It should be noted that Carson, a former neurosurgeon, would not bring the same level of housing knowledge to HUD that Patenaude and Woodson would bring.

Patenaude served as a former adviser to Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush. Under President Bush, she served as HUD assistant secretary for community, planning and development.

Patenaude is also the former director of housing policy at the Bipartisan Policy Center.

Woodson, on the other hand, is a close advisor for Speaker of the House Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., on poverty issues. According to the Washington Post, Woodson is a “familiar face to politicians in both parties who work on housing and poverty.”

But, those perceived credentials may or may not work in Patenaude and Woodson’s favor. In the end, it’s up to Trump and his team to decide what direction they want to take HUD.

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