By Patrick Barron, National News Writer
As President-elect Donald Trump continued to build his cabinet, he announced his pick to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Carson’s transition team on Monday confirmed that Ben Carson, a renowned neurosurgeon and adversary to Trump in the Republican Presidential Primary was named for the position.
To many, the appointment was not surprising, as it was speculated Carson would be named to the position. Carson himself wrote in a Facebook post before his confirmation saying, “After serious discussions with the Trump transition team, I feel that I can make a significant contribution particularly to making our inner cities great for everyone.”
Of all Trump’s relationships with former primary adversaries, Carson’s relationship with Trump appears to be strong. After Carson ended his presidential ambitions, he endorsed Trump and the two have maintained a relationship since then. More so, Trump says, “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 is a tough competitor and never gives up.”
While Trump has often discussed the plight of African-Americans in urban cities in the Unites States, African-Americans did not strongly support him in the election. According to CNN, Trump received eight percent of the black vote in the presidential election. While a very small figure, the amount is better than some modern Republican candidates.
Doubt remains over Carson’s appointment as he has made controversial remarks in the past, believing that government programs do not help people overcome poverty. Additionally, Ben Carson has never held public office before.
Upon the reveal of the appointment, there was much publicity examining Ben Carson’s background for qualifications to lead the department. One report generated a lot of reaction, saying that Carson had lived in public housing as a child with his single mother. However, this was later shown to be false. According to the Washington Post, while the neighborhoods Carson lived in were not the safest, he never lived in public housing.Nevertheless, Carson has expressed excitement to begin this new chapter in his life. In a statement he said, “I feel that I can make a significant contribution particularly by strengthening communities that are most in need. We have much work to do in enhancing every aspect of our nation and ensuring that our nation’s housing needs are met.”
The creation of the HUD resulted from President Johnson’s “Great Society” initiatives during the 1960s. The mission of HUD as posted on the official website “is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all.”
For 2012, the White House website stated that the department had a budget of $42 million in order to supports its role in assisting “with home ownership, access to affordable housing free from discrimination, and community development.”
Carson’s appointment allows Trump to continue building his cabinet before he is inaugurated on January 20, 2017. The HUD department is essential for the livelihood for thousands of Americans across the country; and Carson will be in charge of improving the lives of citizens.
A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, December 10th print edition.
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