Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson wants to cut red tape behind soaring housing costs, but also explained how some state rules complicate matters.
When FOX Business' Stuart Varney pointed out how “in California 40 percent of a home's cost, a new home, is sticking to building regulations and you can't do anything about that because they're California rules,” Carson responded, “you have hit the nail on the head -- it's a real problem.”
“And the places where we see the most homelessness and the most despair are the places that have the most regulations,” he explained. “And isn't it kind of funny we're in this political cycle right now where there are a bunch of people who want even more regulations, more government control, and others who say, 'you know, kind of let the market forces work.'”
Part of the solution, in Carson’s opinion, is shedding light on the regulations which he believes to be outdated.
“I think even the people who want regulations will agree that some of them don't make a lot of sense,” he said. “Like, you know, only people who are related to the owner of the house can live in it. You know, why was there such a regulation? Because years ago people were concerned about brothels popping up in their neighborhood. Well who's concerned about that anymore?” he asked.
“And you know some of the density regulations and the height restrictions in California, now you've got to have solar panels, you know -- come on give me a break -- you know, give people some credit for being able to control their own lives and know what kind of things they need,” he added.
And it’s not just the government that is to blame, Carson pointed out. Resistance to change is also a factor.
“Education is key and particularly you know in dealing with NIMBY-ism -- 'not in my backyard-ism,” he said. “Because, you know, people and I understand, want to maintain the value of their home and we want to maintain the value of their homes too. And that's why the government doesn't do things like they used to do in the [1960s] -- building these gigantic complexes with no forethought, no afterthought, no maintenance. We don't do that anymore.”
Carson believes public-private partnerships can help improve the quality of neighborhoods.