HUD controls a budget of over $40 billion and its policies directly impact millions of Americans and our communities. While many other cabinet agencies have been in the spotlight for reversing or altering policies from the previous administration, there has been comparatively little attention paid to HUD. The public has been kept largely in the dark when it comes to what’s happening at the agency, the New York Times and Propublica reported.
In February 2018, emails we obtained from HUD revealed that Secretary Carson was allowing his family members to have influence and access at the department, particularly his son Ben Carson Jr, who was connecting his personal business associates to senior HUD officials. CNN did a deeper dive into the record and found that senior employees were also scheduling meetings with and on behalf of Carson Jr., and the Washington Post found that Secretary Carson continued to involve his family in department business despite legal advice that this could raise ethics concerns.
Secretary Carson has called for an inspector general investigation his own conduct, but we’re still seeking answers as to what role Carson’s family members are taking in government business. If Secretary Carson is using his position to provide special access to his family or to steer departmental resources to other well connected interests, the public has a right to know.