Ben Carson is the arguably heartless secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The polices passed since he stepped into the position have done little to nothing to help the people he is supposed to serve. From a proposal to raise the rent on low-income people to blocking Obama’s Small Area Fair Market Rent rule, which was supposed to began January 1 and would give marginalized people better access to jobs and school. Now, Carson is being sued.
One of the great things HUD did under the Obama administration, with Julian Castro as the secretary, was to work to ensure that neighborhoods were not segregated. Studies have shown that when neighborhoods are segregated, Black and brown communities receive less funding and resources. This 2015 rule required over “1,200 communities receiving billions of federal housing dollars to draft plans to desegregate their communities — or risk losing federal funds,” according to The Washington Post. However, Carson suspended the rule in January calling it, per The Post, “failed socialist experiments,” thereby allowing local and state governments “to continue receiving HUD grants without compliance with the full requirements of the Fair Housing Act.”
As a result, fair-housing advocates were expected to file a lawsuit against Carson on Tuesday. According to The Washington Post, “The lawsuit alleges Carson unlawfully suspended the 2015 rule by not providing advance public notice or opportunity for comment.”
Lisa Rice, president and chief executive of the National Fair Housing Alliance, one of three housing advocacy groups that joined the lawsuit, said to The Washington Post, “HUD has continued to grant federal dollars to municipalities even when they know the municipalities are engaging in discrimination. They are rewarding cities for bad behavior.”
Madison Sloan, director of Texas Appleseed’s Disaster Recovery and Fair Housing project, another advocacy group that joined the lawsuit, stated, “My fear is that HUD’s rescission of the rule tells communities, ‘You’re off the hook. We’re going to keep giving you money even while you keep perpetuating segregation.’”
Let’s hope this lawsuit can force Carson to do his job and not actively dismantle the very core of fair housing, which — to ensure there isn’t discrimination in housing. This is an important fight considering Carson claims low-income people are “too comfortable” in poverty and wants to kick people out of HUD via a work requirement of 32 hours per week. As much as Carson wears his religion on his sleeve, he needs to consult his God on his policies. This is not what Jesus would do.