After Ben Carson was named to head the Department of Housing and Urban Development, housing advocates warned Carson would run the agency like a slumlord — and a new report by NBC’s Stephanie Gosk indicates they were right.
The investigation took viewers to a public housing project in Hartford Connecticut, where residents deal with mold, rodent and vermin infestations, and ceiling collapses that have gone unrepaired. Meanwhile taxpayers have paid the building’s owner “nearly a million and a half dollars” over the past two years. The report also found more than 1,000 public housing properties across the country receiving failing grades, forcing 40,000 families, who depend on Carson’s leadership at HUD, to live in squalor.
In one clip, HUD inspectors recorded by a tenant can be heard complaining that “the system is broken.” Another says that he has 432 properties to manage in Connecticut, and only five staff members with which to do so. Meanwhile, Gosk noted that “under housing secretary Ben Carson, HUD has shed more than 480 staff out of 8,000,” while housing activists complained the agency “does not have a firm grip on what’s happening on the ground.”
Earlier this year, Carson supported President Trump’s proposed $8.8 billion cut to the agency, and proposed tripling rents for residents. But if viewers expected him to weigh in on the scandal, they would be disappointed.
“Secretary Carson declined to be interviewed,” said Gosk, although an anonymous spokeperson said “the secretary believes very deeply that families should not be forced to live in housing that’s unsafe, and taxpayers shouldn’t be subsidizing it.”
Watch the video below.