Ben Carson officially confirmed as Housing secretary

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Ben Carson, Credit: CNN

WASHINGTON – The Senate has confirmed retired neurosurgeon and former Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson as housing secretary.

The vote was 58-41.

Carson will lead an agency of some 8,300 employees and a budget of about $47 billion.

Carson has no government or housing policy experience. Despite that, his nomination cleared a Senate committee in January on a unanimous vote. Republicans praised his life story as inspiring. Carson grew up in inner-city Detroit with a single mother who had a third-grade education. Democrats welcomed Carson’s promises to address homelessness, lead hazards in housing, and other issues.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development oversees billions of dollars in housing assistance to low-income people. It also enforces fair housing laws and offers mortgage insurance to poorer Americans.

“I am pleased to support Dr. Carson’s confirmation to serve as Secretary of HUD,” said Oklahoma Sen. James Lankford. “Dr. Carson will work to transition HUD into an agency that helps people escape poverty, rather than just survive in it. His personal rise out of poverty and genuine love for people will serve the nation well in this position.”