Trump administration targets homeownership to restore American Dream: Ben Carson

Dr. Ben Carson, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, will ring the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange on Monday to commemorate national homeownership month. He told the FOX Business Network’s Maria Bartiromo it’s part of the department’s efforts to revive the American Dream.

“The primary mechanism for the creation of wealth in America has been homeownership and yet we have large [parts] of our population that are not even directing themselves towards homeownership,” he said.

Carson said the simplest way to achieve this is through public-private partnerships, an arrangement between a government agency and private-sector company to finance, build and operate projects for the public.

“We just want to emphasize to people that this is America and part of the American Dream is owning a home,” he said, adding that it would also unite the country. “It’s not a Republican or Democrat issue but it does strengthen the very economic fabric of our country,” he said.

Despite President Trump’s budget proposal seeking to cut $6B from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Secretary said policies that work efficiently will be kept in place. “We want to make sure that people who are housed remain housed,” he said.

The former neurosurgeon who spent 18 years on the Kellogg board, 16 years on the Costco board and also founded a non-profit said the department will also be run more like a business. Carson has brought on a a chief operating officer and is in the process of getting a chief information officer and chief financial officer.

“Being able to look at the problems in a holistic manner, there are multiple things that have been found, particularly in the financial aspects of the way the organization is run, those things are going to be changed, we are going to make those much more business-like,” he said.

Carson said ‘tremendous’ changes are already being seen in the Continuum of Care Program, which aims to end homelessness.

“Every dollar that is directed to that is helping 14.8% more recipients just from efficiencies that have been achieved—that’s just the beginning,” he said.