Ben Carson, President-elect Donald Trump's appointee to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development, criticized President Barack Obama's 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Fair Housing Act for some of its anti-discrimination aspects.
“As you probably know, that act says that we want people who are receiving HUD grants to look around and see if they find anything that looks like discrimination, and then we want them to come up with a solution on how to find the problem," Carson, 65, told the Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee panel when asked about the Obama administration's Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, according to The Hill.
"They’re not responding to people saying there’s a problem, they’re saying go and look for a problem and give us a solution,” he added.
The rule requires cities or regions receiving certain HUD grants to generate various factors of housing occupancy data, including race and income level. Recipients of the grants then have to prove they are addressing inequality issues.
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Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown, the top Democrat on the committee, asked Carson if he would protect the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community in public housing.
“Of course, I would enforce all the laws of the land. Of course, I think all Americans should be protected by the law,” Carson said, according to The Washington Times. “What I have said before is I don’t think anyone should get ‘extra rights.’”
According to The New York Times, supporters of the rule argue it helps to address generations of government and private-sector discrimination that has resulted in poor, segregated neighborhoods persisting to this day.
But critics say it results in government overreach and hinders a free housing market.
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Carson, has long been critical of public housing efforts to end discrimination.
And in a 2015 Washington Times op-ed, Carson called the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule a “failed socialist experiment.”