Will Ben Carson Put Julián Castro’s HUD Legacy in Jeopardy?

 

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro returns to San Antonio next month out of government for the first time in more than seven years, leaving behind an agency whose missions could be threatened by Congress and the new administration.

President-elect Donald Trump’s campaign vow to make “inner cities” a beneficiary of $1 trillion in infrastructure work over a decade brings a measure of hope to advocates of affordable housing.

Federal budgets could pose the biggest threat to HUD, given a return of spending caps next year and Trump’s promise to divert non-defense spending to the Pentagon.

But Benson “Buzz” Roberts, who heads the National Association of Affordable Housing Lenders, said he is encouraged by Trump’s pronouncements about investing.

The goal of investment might best be reached through the new infrastructure spending Trump talks about, coupled with an investment tax credit to rehab homes in downtrodden areas, Roberts said.

“The president-elect has spoken about trying to attract investment in distressed neighborhoods and the importance of making those neighborhoods good places to live,” Roberts said. “He has said he is committed to helping these neighborhoods, so I take him at his word.”