Ben Carson’s To-Do List
Last week, the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs began its hearing for Dr. Ben Carson’s appointment as Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This morning, his nomination was approved. Past HUD secretaries chose to take on flagship issues during their terms. With Dr. Carson’s background as a neurosurgeon and his abundant contributions to the medical field, housing experts predict that “health and housing” will be one of his signature issues.
HousingWire contributors Anand Parekh, the Bipartisan Policy Center’s chief medical advisor and Dennis Shea, former HUD assistant secretary for policy development and research, proposed possible ways Dr. Carson can bring together health and housing policy.
Some of the issues HUD faces include the state of public housing and an aging population. Substandard and older housing can be contaminated with toxic building materials that are no longer utilized like lead and indoor asthma triggers. Additionally, as 78 Million Baby Boomers start to transition into retirement, they require more home services like delivery of medications and medical devices and home modification.
Some steps Dr. Carson can take to use his position to address the struggle to access affordable housing include using Low-Income Housing Tax Credits to help fund homelessness reduction initiatives, and moderate the cost of housing and better accommodate senior citizens living in affordable housing. Other strategies include developing a model of senior zoning ordinances to improve the quality of life for seniors through transportation, health care, and social services.
Dr. Carson is well-suited to forge the connection between health and housing and address related issues.
Sources: Chicago Tribune, The New York Times, The Detroit News, HousingWire