The U.S. Senate issued a final vote Thursday confirming Ben Carson as secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), 58-41. The party-line approval assigns Carson leadership of the agency, which currently has a budget of $47 billion and more than 8,000 on staff.
The housing industry largely took a wait-and-see approach throughout the confirmation process, embracing the opportunity of a new leader.
“Dr. Carson should be proud of his achievement,” said Bill Brown, president of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), in a statement. “The task at hand is a big one, and we applaud his commitment to the challenges that lie ahead. NAR has been the voice of real estate for over a century. In that time we’ve seen changes in markets, in Washington, and in the business of our REALTOR® members—but there’s a reason that homeownership is called the ‘American Dream,’ and that hasn’t changed one bit. Homeownership helps build communities and build wealth for families, and we know that the policies set in Washington can make a real difference for individual Americans as they work to realize the dream of homeownership for themselves.
“We’re committed to helping them get there, which means addressing the hurdles buyers, current homeowners and investors face in the marketplace,” Brown said. “Housing inventories are tight and mortgage credit is hard to come by, and at the same time far too many buyers are saddled with high rents and student debt that stand in the way of saving for a down payment. We look forward to working with Secretary Carson to meet these challenges head on.”
“The National Association of Gay and Lesbian Real Estate Professionals (NAGLREP) congratulates Ben Carson on his Senate confirmation,” said John Graff, chair of the NAGLREP Policy Committee, in a statement. “While we have obvious concerns with his past statements regarding the LGBT community, we look forward to working with the new HUD secretary to ensure that critical protections for the community remain in place. Our first step in ensuring this happens is our March 14 LGBT Housing Policy Summit in Washington. HUD will be represented, and we are hopeful the needs of the community will be heard.”
“NAHB congratulates Dr. Ben Carson on becoming the nation’s 17th HUD Secretary,” said Granger MacDonald, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), in a statement. “Dr. Carson knows that removing regulatory barriers is a necessary component of any national housing policy and that housing is key to the long-term health of the U.S. economy. NAHB looks forward to working with Dr. Carson and his new team to ensure that housing is a national priority, to promote policies that will keep the housing industry moving forward and to provide affordable homeownership and rental opportunities for all Americans.”
“MBA applauds the full Senate for confirming Dr. Carson as the next HUD Secretary,” said David Stevens, president and CEO of the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), in a statement. “His commitment to bolster America’s real estate markets and assist communities nationwide will serve him well in his new role. MBA looks forward to working with the Secretary and his team at HUD to ensure that families all across our country have access to safe, decent and affordable housing.”
“NLIHC congratulates Dr. Ben Carson on his confirmation as HUD secretary and looks forward to working with him to ensure the lowest income people in American have decent, accessible and affordable homes,” said Diane Yentel, president and CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC), in a statement.
The Senate advanced Carson’s nomination to a final vote on Wednesday, 62-37. A Senate Committee approved the nomination in January after a confirmation hearing, during which Carson revealed an intent to take a “holistic” approach to housing. President Trump announced Carson’s nomination in November.
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