Donald Trump's pick for housing chief, Ben Carson, says during his Senate confirmation hearing that his experience growing up has helped him understand housing insecurity in America. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Ben Carson on Thursday told lawmakers he is fit to lead the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, an agency that offers housing to the poor, even though he has sometimes criticized its work. "I understand housing insecurity," Carson, a retired neurosurgeon who sought the Republican 2016 presidential nomination, said in prepared remarks for the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee. Carson endorsed some policies that subsidize rent and homeownership and said a childhood of poverty and struggle made him appreciate a stable home life. "Simply put, it's difficult for a child to learn at school if he or she doesn't have an adequate place to live," he said. Carson, nominated for the HUD job by Republican President-elect Donald Trump, has said some of the agency's policies encourage racial tensions. A federal program that promotes the development of rental housing in neighborhoods where most people own their homes is a mistake, Carson, an African-American, has argued. "These government-engineered attempts to legislate racial equality create consequences that often make matters worse," Carson wrote in a 2015 opinion article in the Washington Times newspaper. If confirmed as HUD secretary as widely expected, Carson would oversee an agency with a roughly $40 billion budget that not only helps the poor but underwrites mortgage loans for middle-class families.