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Why Won’t Ben Carson Confront Discrimination?

HUD Secretary Ben Carson announced that he would be launching a “landlord engagement listening tour” later this month, but discrimination by many landlords can already be heard quite loudly.
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Carlos Osorio/AP

Speaking at a gathering of public housing authority directors in Washington, D.C. earlier this week, HUD Secretary Ben Carson re-upped his argument that affirmatively furthering fair housing—which in principle means desegregating neighborhoods—actually just means building more housing. Said Carson at the gathering:

The prior rule Carson referenced included tools that local housing agencies could use to root out housing segregation. The purpose of those tools was also to find ways to distribute housing subsidies more fairly across a broader swath of neighborhoods instead of concentrating them in impoverished neighborhoods, as HUD has done historically. But as Carson noted, he’s not really all that concerned about discrimination, which is why he’s been nixing those prior rules. Rather, as he explained to the public housing directors, he wants to figure out how he can turn NIMBYs into YIMBYs, and also how to get more landlords to accept housing vouchers from low-income tenants. He announced that he’d be conducting a “landlord engagement listening tour” later this month to help him out with this.