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Carson Says 30-Year Mortgage May Not Need Government Backing

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Ben Carson, President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for the top U.S. housing-policy job, told lawmakers that he questions the need for a government backstop of the market for 30-year mortgages, saying the private market could take on much of the responsibility.

Carson commented in response to a question Thursday at a Senate confirmation hearing where some Democrats questioned his qualifications to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development, which has responsibilities ranging from insuring low-down-payment mortgages to administering rental assistance for low-income home owners. The housing industry has defended the federal backing as essential in keeping down mortgage costs.