Fmr. HUD Secretary Cisneros: Ben Carson Can Jumpstart Urban Housing

After saying he would not seek a position in the new Trump administration, Dr. Ben Carson is giving second thoughts to the President-elect’s offer for him to head the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The former Republican presidential primary candidate is expected to give his final answer after Thanksgiving.

During an interview on the FOX Business Network’s Mornings with Maria, the former HUD Secretary during the Clinton administration, Henry Cisneros, shared his thoughts.

“I think Dr. Carson is an intelligent man – he’s a free thinker, he’s a compassionate person, a quick study obviously and I think that he can do the job,” he said.

Cisneros said in addition to playing a traditional role, there is a new aspect for the incoming Secretary to consider as a potential needle-mover on housing.

“The cities are poised to do well as engines of not just the national but the global economy and figuring out a way to put the cities into the national dialogue, all the big metros and the cities, that has real potential – we are in a renaissance moment for the cities and the HUD Secretary could lead in that and then it becomes really important to every other aspect of the American economy and American life,” he said.

Cisneros discussed how the 2008 housing crisis changed homeownership.

“Right now we are suffering from a pretty dramatic shortage of rentals and so strategies for stimulating the rentals is very important because we’ve got a younger population and we’ve got an immigrant population and we have a working class population that is not going to be homeowners as you say and they need decent places to live not so far from their jobs at good prices,” he said.

Cisneros discussed how the new administration can address the student debt crisis.

“Millennials are being left behind, in terms of traditional rates of home ownership, and even participation in the economy because they are so saddled with student loans. They can’t buy a home until later in life. They can’t even form a family until later in life.”

He continued: “Using Sally Mae, the governmental loan entity to do some loan forgiveness and other strategies for lessening the burden of what those already out in the economy have to pay and those who are in school are going to undertake.” Cisneros added it was this line of thinking that made U.S. Senator From Vermont Bernie Sanders so popular among Millennials during his Democratic presidential primary run.

He also said the Trump administration can learn from election trends.

“The Millennials are not playing the role they can play in building up the American economy and American future. I think it’s very important to a Trump administration,” he said.