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Ben Carson
  Housing Secretary Carson Testifies at Oversight Hearing  CSPAN  October 12, 2017 9:33am-12:37pm EDT

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the chair is authorized at any time and all members will skr five legislative days to submit to the chair for inclusion in the record. entitled the future of housing in america oversight of the department of housing in urban development. i recognize myself for three and a half minutes to give an opening statement. today we welcome the 17th sick tear of the department of housing and urban development. welcome, sir. at least in one respect he may be among the most qualified individuals to ever serve as hud secretary. secretary carson was raised by a single mother who had a third grade education. he grew up in communities who
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grew up in boston. not only does he understand poverty personally but he understands what it takes to escape it. he is passionate about helping others escape as well. he also understands that hud's approach to eliminating poverty too often fails and thankfully he is committed to changing it. when it was created 52 years ago hud was intended to be the main weapon in the war on poverty. $1.6 trillion later the poverty rate remains unchanged. hud has failed to live up to the aspirations of its birth. i do not it is invaluable part of our social safety net. but i remind all that for the
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able-bodied there is no bet are affordable housing program than a growing committee that creates better jobs and brighter tomorrows. after suffering from eight years of bod public policy leading to a sluggish committee that has been growing at barely half of the historic norm working americans deserve fundamental tax returns. there hasn't been any significant tax reform in a century that hasn't groan tax revenues. this growth erased a $5.6 billion deficit and turned
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it into a surplus. even going back to the coolage era, a series of tax relief resulted in annual average exhibition growth of 4.7%. we have seen it time and time again when we remove the bushrds and allow them to take more of what they earned we unleashed to create opportunity for everyone. it's not economic theory. it's economic history. it's the very embodiment of affordable housing. i also wonder, how can one be for affordable housing yet oppose allowing working americans to keep more of their paycheck? so i look forward to hearing more of the new vision for hud and the programs he and his team are beginning to reform.
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i now yield to the ranking member for an opening statement. >> thank you mr. chairman. america is currently in the midst of the worst housing crisis we ever experienced. it is hitting our lowest income families the hardest. according to the low income coalition the united states has a shortage of 7.2 million or extremely low income households. our country is also at a virtual standstill when it comes to rebusing homelessness. in some parts of the country homelessness has reached crisis proportions. we also face homeowner ship challenges with minority homeowner ship rates continuing to lag even as the housing market recovers. in the face of housing needs president trump chose dr. ben car on carson to serve as head as urban
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development. the secretary of hud is supposed to be at the forefront to expand access to safe, decent and affordable housing and enforce housing rights. housing is the foundation on which our entire society is built. it is a flat form for economic mobility and well being. it is a crucial part of our national economy. it is a necessary human right. we need strong leadership and a bold vision for hud in order to expand access to affordable housing in this country. unfortunately i have seen nothing to indicate that secretary carson is up to the challenge. secretary carson has expressed views that are deeply alarming to his role as hud such as describing poverty as more of a choice than anything else and saying he doesn't think public
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housing should be too comfortable. his few actions so far as hud secretary are deeply troubling as well. secretary carson has supported a budget that slashes funding for critical housing programs and proposes harmful rent increases on some of the most vulnerable american families. he has also moved to roll back obama initiatives with little or no explanation. so i am very much looking forward to hearing from secretary carson today about his actions so far and his plans for serving our nation's most vulnerable families. i thank you mr. chairman and yield back the balance of my time. >> we recognize mr. duff fi for one and a half minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. over here.
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right here. it's hard to find people. i don't know if it's secretary or doctor. i think you can tell you'll be in for an interesting hearing based on the opening statement of the ranking member. i would note that poor people have been worse off over the last eight years and snorts have faired worse than the rest of the population. i would argue that with a bigger government you got middle class. poor people get poorer. rich people get richer. it happens when ever you implement these policies. to go back to a system that gives people a hand up that helps move them, one of the greatest brain surgeons is the american story. i'm looking forward to your testimony today. i know you have a lot of reforms you want to discuss with us.
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i'm looking forward to hearing that. i would also like to hear your vision on -- the prior secretary, when they would look at success of hud, success was viewed in the realm of how many people do we get into the system? not how many people can i get in, what's me measure of success, i look forward to housing finance reform, rural poverty. my time is up. i yield back. >> the time has expired. >> the future of housing in america strikes me. thank you for being here. i may be of dpraeter value if i just tell you that i sat down
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with shaq to tell him how his father in law and i grew up. i ended up getting the opportunity bought a lot, bought a house, moved the house and i mentioned to you and i always think what would have happened if nobody had helped my mother and father as they were strug e
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struggling. >> thank you mr. chairman. i'm glad we are having this hearing. i'm glad you're here. the condition of america's cities and towns is a subject that's the jurisdiction of your department. i think in neither case or some time to be fair to you preceding your entry into this position that subject has not gotten nearly the attention that it should. unfortunately for decades important investment in cities and towns, the home program have faced really deep cuts. we had a similar childhood experience. a lot of people know flint now because of the terrible crisis that it is facing, coming out of the poisoning.
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it was on the brink of insol van si because the federal government had eliminated essential support for development of those cases. i'm anxious no hear how you can square your suggestions to cut further those programs with the sworn oath you took. >> time of the gentleman has expired. today we welcome honorable ben carson. it is the first time he has appeared before the committee. dr. ben carson was sworn in on march 2nd, 2017. he earned a bachelor's degree from yale and received his md from university of michigan medical school. previously secretary carson served as at johns hopkins childrens center. without objection the witness's
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written statement will be made part of the record. you're recognized to give an oral presentation. >> it is on now. >> ranking member waters, thank you for inviting me to discuss what we do at houszing and urban development. texas, florida, georgia and u.s. virgin islands. hud's team with our territory y'all and local agency partners
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providing housing solutions for survivors and helping hud assisted clients and fha ensured borrowers. it is the recovery efforts in these disaster impacted regions as they rebuild. helping these communities is and will remain a priority for me and this administration. america has changed greatly since hud was established as part of johnson's society half a century ago. we must learn to evolve with the country. many americans still struggle to find affordable housing. chronic homelessness continues to plague tens of thousands of our country men and many millions remain in poverty rather than being guide on a path out of it.
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we must constantly evaluate to ensure we are delivering services effectively and efficiently with the best practices and technologies. since i arrived at hud in march it has been my mission to employ the wealth of knowledge held by career staff and remain careful stewards of taxpayer dollars. our team has outlined a bold plan for constitutional reform and improvement that will better serve all americans. it's called the forward initiative. the policy elements of a forward initiative each fall under what we have named the three r's,
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reimagine how hud works, restore the american dream and rethink american communities. first reimagining how hud works refers to internal processes, working conditions and training. the goal of every improvement made at hud is to provide better service to those. getting americans back on their feet and permanently improving their lives. of course hud is committed to continuing to serve those families that might always need someone to lean ochblt additionally we have an opportunity to eliminate veterans, homelessness in america. they sacrificed for our country and deserve all of the support we can give. and fooinally we need to rethin american communities and how we can make them thrive. expanding through publish-try
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pro -- public-spry vat partnerships to live in of childhood exposure to dangerous building materials. ridding our homes of these hazards is a worthy cause with great benefits to future generations. while pursuing its mission to provide safe, decent and affordable housing, the hud team is also cognizant of its vital duty to be a good steward of taxpayer dollars. the president has directed federal agencies to take special care against burdening american families and their businesses with unnecessary and expensive regulations. hud is reviewing its existing regulations to assess their compliance costs, reduce regulatory burden and build a more efficient and effective agency. let me close by reiterating the
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interest of our administration and my personal interest in working with this committee on housing finance reform. hud will be an active participant in this critical dialogue because of our fundamental housing mission and because our fha mortgage insurance program and our ginny may mortgage backed security guarantee. reform should be built on shared goals of ensuring a well functioning housing finance system that provides access for credit worthy borrowers who are ready to own a home. expands the role of the private sector and reduces overall taxpayer exposure. thank you for inviting me to testify today and i welcome any questions. >> chair recognizes himself for five minutes for questions.
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my clegolleague, mr. duffy, alld in his opening statement to kind of metrics of success. and there are some who view the success of hud to be tied to the size of its budget or the number of people who have section 8 vouchers. but i am curious, does hud have or is hud developing any different metric? i mean, how many people actually get to escape poverty? how many able-bodied individuals are able to escape poverty to move beyond section 8 housing and maybe at one point enjoy the dream of home ownership? does hud have any way to measure this? are we looking at this wrong? should there be a different metric of success for what you're doing? >> there have been a number of studies over the course of decades. and as was mentioned in your opening statement, there hasn't been a tremendous amount of progress there. this is not because the people
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who have been there have had bad intentions. i think they have very good intentions. but we do have to look at the fact that we're not making a great deal with progress with poverty. and that's why we are looking to reform this whole thing. and really looking more at the person than at the housing complex. housing is a component of developing people. we have to recognize that we only have 330 million people in this country. we have to compete in the future with china and india, who have four times that many people. that means, if we don't develop all of our people, we are not going to be able to keep up in the future. it's as simple as that. we have to start thinking in terms of wholistic development of people and communities. how do we enable people to climb that ladder of opportunity. how do we incentivize them to climb that ladder of opportunity
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so that they become part of the strength of this country. >> part of affordable housing is obviously tied to our housing finance system. recently federal reserve governor jerome powell said, if congress does not enact reforms over the next few years we are at risk of settling for the status quo, a government dominated mortgage market with insufficient private capital to protect taxpayers and insufficient competition to drive innovation. do you agree or disagree with governor powell's assessment? there is no question that we need to engage in a serious discussion about finance reform. a lot of progress has been made, by the way. ten years ago we were talking about how important it is to get everybody into home ownership. and again, i am not criticizing the people who did that. but i don't think they realized that to put somebody in a home
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that they can't afford is not really doing them a favor. they lose the home. they lose their credit. they lose their future opportunities. we have to learn from those kinds of situations. and innovation is the hallmark of america. >> mr. secretary, can we reform our housing finance system without reforming fha, which is obviously under hud? >> fha, as you probably know, the largest guarantor of mortgages in the world. so it's an essential part of it and needs to be reformed as well. >> well, historically the mission of fha was to support first-time and low-income -- low-to-moderate income families. and it had a small footprint in the market. now it has a very large footprint in the market and, in many areas of the u.s., the fha
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loan limits are the same as the conventional market, $636,150 in so-called high-cost areas. at least where i come from, only the top wage earners can afford a mortgage of $636,000. do you agree that establishing a home price or loan limit more in line, say, with the median home price in the area will better serve the target customer for fha and get it refocused on low to moderate income and first-time home buyers? >> thank you for that question. if one looks at the actual statistics and looks at the bell curve, you know, 95% of the mortgages fall in the $200,000 range. on the very tips there are going to be very low ones and very
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high ones. so i tend to want to focus on the large group and not on the outliers. it's very, very rare that we deal with a $636,000 mortgage. >> thank you, mr. secretary. i now recognize the ranking member for five minutes. >> thank you very much. i had intended to start to talk about the housing crisis that we have, but since the president was busy tweeting this morning and you referred to hud's role in dealing with the hurricane disasters and what you and the administration are doing, this morning trump threatened to abandon puerto rico recovery efforts. president trump served notice thursday that he may pull back federal relief workers from puerto rico effectively threatening to abandon the u.s. territory amid a staggering humanitarian crisis in the
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aftermath of hurricane maria. in a trio of tweets, he wrote, we cannot keep fema, the military, and the first responders who have been amazing in puerto rico forever. on thursday he sought to shame the territory for its own plight. he tweeted, electric and all infrastructure was disaster before hurricane. so you talked about what you, hud, is doing in cooperation with, i guess, the administration. do you agree with the president? >> i certainly agree that puerto rico is a very important territory. the people from puerto rico have contributed greatly to the culture of america. >> i am not talking about that. what i am talking about is these tweets where the president threatened to abandon puerto rico recovery efforts. do you agree that they should be abandoned, that puerto rico should be abandoned? >> well, first of all, as i was saying, puerto rico is a very
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important part -- >> i want to know whether or not you agree with the president, who is threatening to abandon puerto rico recovery efforts. >> i think i just said i have no intention of an bbandoning puer rico. they are a very important part of what we are. >> he tweeted, electric and all other infrastructure was a disaster before the hurricanes and sought to shame the territory for its own plight. do you share that opinion? >> i think that our job is to make sure that we take care of the disaster that has occurred. >> so you don't agree that it should be abandoned. isn't that right? >> of course it should not be abandoned. >> and you don't think they should be shamed for their own plight. is that right? >> there is no question that there have been a lot of difficulties in puerto rico. >> should they be shamed for its own plight? >> i don't think it -- i don't think it is beneficial to go
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around shaming people in general. >> i am glad to hear you don't agree with the president. let me go on with my housing question. i want to talk about someone who i recently met by the name of larry, who resides in a section 202 housing for the elderly property in south los angeles. larry shared with me the meticulous monthly budget he manages for himself. i have the budget right here. he lives on a fixed income of $1,015 per month. after paying for rent, utilities, groceries, medical expenses, personal hygiene, he has exactly $110 left at the end of the month. he told me he looks forward to using some of that $110 to take his granddaughter out for ice cream. the rent increases proposed in your recent hud budget would mean an $80 monthly increase for
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larry. larry said to me in my office, congresswoman. i don't know which other corner i could cut if i had to pay an additional $80 per month in rent. in fact, i have data that shows that seniors would have to pay an additional $83 a month on average in rent under your rent reform proposal, which is a whopping 28% increase over what they're currently paying. there are low-income seniors in hud assisted housing all over this country like larry with average incomes just over $13,000 a year. do you mean to tell me it is the vision of this administration to raise rents on low income seniors like larry? tell me, what do you expect larry to do if your proposal to raise rent is enacted? >> if larry does not see a way out, he can apply for an exemption, which will be available to him.
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having said that, we are changing programs in such a way as to create sustainability. we don't want to reach a point, you know, five years down the road where we have no ability to take care of anyone. >> let me just say that i have heard you mention before that hardship exemptions will be available, but i do not accept that as an adequate solution because hardship exemptions have historically failed to actually help people who are eligible for an exemption and you have never even acknowledged this. so i ask you again, what do you expect larry and the tens of thousands of other seniors like larry to do in the face of such a dramatic rent increase? >> first of all, i think the situation that you just described is not a typical situation. i don't believe that elderly and disabled people will see that large of an increase. that's not the numbers that i have received. >> based on your cuts they will. >> time. >> we would be very happy to have our people go over the numbers with you.
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>> time. time of the gentle lady expired. the chair recognizes the gentleman from wisconsin, mr. duffy, chairman of the housing and insurance subcommittee. >> i wanted to deviate from my original questions and note that the president was somewhat accurate in that the electrical grid in puerto rico was not up to what it should have been. they're highly in debt. there is a lot of problems in puerto rico that they were dealing with before maria hit them. i love the island. i am part of the puerto rican caucus. but to now try to say that president trump is shaming people on the island. if i am not mistaken it was president trump who sent over a request for a supplemental package to the tune of $36 billion. it came from the white house. >> yes. i can tell you from being in many conversations with the president and other members of the cabinet, he is in no way thinking about abandoning them.
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he has put a lot of effort into that. >> speaking to that point, i think it was president obama who did a fly-by stop in in puerto rico but then went and spent days in cuba hanging out with a ruthless dictator, going to see baseball games, hands in the air, open up tourism in cuba to the exclusion of tourism in puerto rico. we should first go, let's promote american citizens in puerto rico and dollars flowing there instead of to the dictatorship. cuba. i am off my questions, but i had to respond to the ranking member's i think inaccurate characterization of what president trump has done on behalf of the good people of puerto rico. i want to pivot, and i don't have a lot of time. can you talk about -- when you look at hud, when you look at the tax dollars that flow through your agency, what are you doing to be more efficient to stretch those dollars further
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and help more people but also be responsive to the taxpayers who send you money? what are you doing on those ends? >> i take responsibility of the taxpayers very seriously. and we have put in place a team that understands that seriousness. we have hired a coo, a cio, and a cfo. hopefully we will get through very soon. it's been named. so that we can begin to look at things from the 30,000 point of view. 30,000 foot point of view rather than just patching little things that don't seem to work, which has been the way things have been done in the past, running it really more like a business, assigning responsibilities to people in all of the different areas so that you don't pass the buck to someone else. >> refreshing. i think i heard the ranking member mention this, that people shouldn't be too comfortable in public housing. i think she was quoting you.
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what do you mean by that? >> i thank you for giving me an opportunity to clarify that. we were in a transitional housing setting, and they were getting people out three times to four times faster than other transitional housing. and i wanted to know how they were doing that. it was because they were concentrating their efforts and their resources on getting people into permanent housing. and i said that's a very good idea. there was a "new york times" reporter there who sort of misinterpreted that, or actually she did a better job, but her editors reinterpreted that to say that carson thinks they shouldn't be comfortable. what a bunch of crap that is. >> thank you for that. listen, i don't -- i know that poverty is not comfortable. and i know that you know that as well as someone who lived that firsthand, especially growing up. but when we talk about being -- trying to make people comfortable in poverty, as
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opposed to trying to incent people to get out of poverty and get into the middle class, if you look at your own life experience, would you be better off if you and your mother and your family had been made comfortable to stay where you were in public housing and in poverty or to incentivize you to become the great doctor and now secretary that you are? >> well, i can tell you that, at the time when my mother was pushing us, i would have preferred somebody make me comfortable there. i didn't want her to make me read these reports and give her all these reports. in retrospect, you know, by reading, particularly about successful people in all endeavors, i began to realize what is necessary. and to realize that the person who has the most to do with what happens to you is you. what we have to do is help more people to not only recognize that but to give them the means whereby they can take advantage of the opportunities that exist
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in our society. >> i don't have much time. we talked about this in the past, but i want to make this note. i am concerned in rural america how programs impact low-income homeless people in rural america as opposed to urban america where there are better structures and more money flows. but poverty in rural america is just as dangerous and treacherous and sad as in urban america, and making sure there is some equity between the two. i look forward in working with you about addressing these issues in rural america. >> time of the gentleman expired. the chair now recognizes gentleman from new york, mr. meeks. >> thank you, mr. chairman. secretary. good to see you. >> you too. >> let me first just say that puerto rico needs all the help that it can get. we need to make sure that we're doing what we need to do. i would also say that the u.s. virgin islands, because i didn't hear you mention about the u.s.
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virgin islands, i did not hear you mention about. they are american citizens and we need to do all we can to ensure the conditions they're in, due to no fault of their own with the natural disaster, that hud does what it can to make sure that these individuals get back on their feet. >> agreed. >> now, our life story is somewhat similar. i grew up in public housing. which is very important to me. and the opportunity to move on, it was great in the sense that there was, you know, looking for home ownership. and i know -- i think that you said during your testimony that there has not been a tremendous amount of progress at relieving poverty with housing programs. i can tell you that, if it wasn't for housing programs, i probably would still be in poverty. and i could name friend after friend after friend who grew up in the same public housing development that i did who no longer lives there, who would be
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in poverty if it wasn't for a housing program, a decent place to live over their heads, et cetera, which is hud's mission. and when you look at the fact that individuals that were preyed upon because i know that you also believe, as i do, that the goal is home ownership, for those individuals, many of them who live in public housing, who thrive to live, aspire to live in a home and own a home, they were the ones who were victimized by exotic mortgages. they were targets, et cetera. and now they are forced back into rent -- to renting their apartments and homes and need housing programs so that they can continue to have a roof over their head so that they can get out of poverty. and one of the pieces that i am concerned about that we have at hud now is the stressed asset
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stabilization program where it seems as though we're selling homes to private equity firms who has no interest in making sure that we stress home ownership and make sure that individuals stay in their homes, it's just about the dollar. so i was wondering, what is your vision for the program going forward? do you expect the program to continue? >> okay. first of all, public housing is important. and assisted housing is important. the point was that even though it's important, we need to be looking at ways that we can reform it so that we can make more progress in terms of getting people out of poverty. definitely i don't want to get rid of it. as far as the program is concerned, we have to, again, be
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cognizant of our responsibility to taxpayers and that means not taking on and keeping a lot of properties that require a lot of taxpayer money. if we can find ways to dispose of those properties, absolutely want to do it. but we have written into the regulations a requirement that people who are in those houses cannot be expelled from them for several months. so we try to give people appropriate time to be able to get out. >> let me ask -- does the dash program target local municipalities and non-profits in buying the bulk homes, because i know they have the interest of putting people -- keeping people in the homes. if that program was designed so that local municipalities, who have a vested interest in this,
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and not-for-profits, it would be something that would encourage the same thing you're talking about, keeping home ownership. >> i agree with you. and i know that the former mayor here in d.c. has been working on that kind of issue. and we would be happy to work with you. i think our goal is obviously to get that property into the hands of private citizens if we can do that. >> i have 11 seconds and i want to get this in. i think it's tremendously difficult also if you look at the public housing stock in my district, for example, 1.1 million families living in public housing. if you cut all the money that goes into repairing those homes, they need rules, to get rid of the walls that are mildewed, there is no way to repair them if you don't have the money to reinvest in them. just as in a home. >> time of the gentleman has expired. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from new mexico, mr.
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pearce. chairman of the terrorism and elicit finance subcommittee. >> thank you. appreciate your being here today, sir. appreciate the work that you are doing. >> thank you. >> recently the new mexico delegation sent you a letter about the vacancy in the albuquerque hud office. are you making any progress on finding someone to fill that position? >> yes. we are making good progress on that. you should be hearing something soon. >> i appreciate that. i visited with you before about native american housing. it's -- native americans are sometimes located in some of the deepest poverty areas in the country. i watched five families, maybe not the same circumstances of yours, work our way up through out of poverty one small house at a time. so i am pretty passionate about the native american housing. just this last week i visited two of the, i guess, really good
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examples of what tribes can do to provide housing. i have invited you in the past. i would like to reextend that invitation to come visit to see what tribes are doing to build houses for their own citizens and extending their mortgage rules to where banks in some cases are financing the houses on indian reservation, which has not happened much in the past. i think it's very innovative. when you talk, then, in the broader case about your forward initiatives and the restore, these are things that i can identify as having worked in our life. i hear your story about how they've worked in your life, and so i really appreciate you bringing your world experience and implementing it into a format that hopefully others can reach. tell me a little bit about the public/private partnership that
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you visualize and some of the community initiatives. >> first of all, thank you for the work that you've done with the native american community. i had an opportunity recently to go out to montana and visit with some of the tribes there as well as a multi-tribal council and visit with some of the young people there and look at some ideas for really moving that along and with the help of congress the one reservation will be revamped soon. as far as the public/partnerships around the country, they have been amazing. it's the new way we do things as hud. rather than riding in with a big bucket of money and saying, build this place for these people, you know, getting the local private sector involved in a way that they actually have significant investment so that the success and maintenance of the neighborhood is incumbent
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upon -- it's incumbent upon them to maintain their financial benefit. so -- and that's the way it should be. win-win situations all along. the other thing about some of these public private partnerships, instead of just building a house or putting a roof on, they're trying to build communities. because you need a variety of different things in order to create a healthy community. in any part of the country. you know, hopefully later on i will have an opportunity to talk a little bit about the envision centers that we are working on, hopefully will be opening the first one in a couple of months that will really add a lot to complete communities. >> thank you, sir. being a veteran myself, i noted that you said that you were concentrating on eliminating veteran homelessness. can you give me a little bit
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more specifics on what's going on in that program. >> yeah. over the last relatively short period home alsonelessness for s has der decreased by 47% and is still going down. we are working with the veterans administration as well as across multiple agencies because i believe that's something we can completely eliminate. the hud vash program has been very successful. we had extra vouchers left over last year. one of the things that will be helpful to us working with your committee is having less restrictions on how we can distribute those vouchers. because there are some places where there is absolutely no one who needs them and other places where they do need them, and we need the flexibility to be able to transfer them to the appropriate places. >> thank you, sir. mr. chairman, i see my time has
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expired. i yield back. >> gentleman recognizes the chairman from massachusetts mr. capuano. >> thank you. i would yield my time to the ranking member, ms. waters. >> thank you very much, mr. capuano. i have serious concerns about the potential conflicts of interest with regard to hud funds that are contributing to the pockets of multi-family developments owned in part by the president and his son-in-law jared kushner. do you think it's appropriate that the president and his family are profiting from federal government funding intended to support low-income families? >> if you can give me specific examples, i can address that question. >> well, i want to know if you think it's appropriate that the president and his family are profiting from any federal government funding intended to support low-income families. >> i don't think it's appropriate for public officials in general to do that.
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>> okay. do you stand by the president's decision not to divest himself of his interest in property that receive hud funding? >> i think the best thing to do is tell me specifically what you are talking about, and then i can address it. >> what have you done to ensure that hud is properly handling these unprecedented conflicts of interest? >> again, if you can tell me what the specific thing is, i can address it. >> these properties that are owned in part by the president for mr. kushner are also reportedly in very bad condition. you know star city. >> yes. >> which is part owned by the president. you dough tha know that. it is increasingly declining hud inspection scores. you know that. >> do i know what? >> that it has increasingly declining hud inspection scores.
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>> i know that there are problems there, yes. >> but specifically do you know that it is a problem, that they have received increasingly declining hud inspection scores. do you know that? >> i know what is necessary to know as the secretary of hud regarding that. do i know all the numbers about -- >> no, i don't want you to know all the numbers. all i want you to know is about sterit. it's partially owned by the president. you are the hud secretary, and you are in a conflict of interest situation. and i just want to make sure you understand what you are overseeing. do you know that they have declining hud inspection scores? >> i know that they've been having difficulty. >> okay. so you know that. that they have not passed inspection. what are you doing to ensure that these hud residents are not suffering as a result of poor management and lack of
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investment by its profit-motivated owners? >> well, of course we oversee the phas that are involved with that. and work with them. as we do with the ones all around the country. >> we have learned that the owners of sterid, city, the biggest project based section 8 project in the country of which trump is part owner are planning to sell the property. the sale is also rife with controversy as infighting between the ownership is playing out in public. to date we have no knowledge of how hud approves the transfer of section 8 contracts when a property is not fha insured or hud-held as sterid city is because hud has not published its process. hud has the ability here to insist upon things like robust tenant protections and longer affordability requirements, but the process is frankly unknown. have you gotten involved with
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this? it's a big issue. >> we have a very well formulated group that deals with these kinds of issues. and they will deal with this one in the same way that they deal with all such issues. there won't be anything that's done differently here. >> are you satisfied with the progress that they're making? >> they will handle this as they have handled all things. >> so you don't know -- they have not kept you appraised. you don't know whether or not the process is working. so, i would like a full accounting of the process that your department is planning to employ, including all decision points and who will make them should have process move forward, and so i want you to commit to that because, again, this is a big project that's owned partially by the president of the united states. and i want to know how this sale is going to work, what kind of
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protection these tenants are going to have. and you should keep yourself appraised of it because i am going to want to know, as others will want to know, how it is progressing. >> we'll be happy to work with you and your staff to disseminate that information. >> time of the gentle lady expired. the chair recognizes the gentle lady from missouri, miss wagner. chairman of our oversight and investigation subcommittee. >> thank you, chairman hensarling and thank you, secretary carson, for your testimony this morning. for being here. welcome. we know that you have been on the job for just a brief five or six months. we're glad to have you in front of the committee for the first time. as you know the community development block grant program. cdbg, is hud's third largest program. but what is often forgotten is that the cdbg disaster relief program, which is designed to help communities and neighborhoods recover from costly disasters, while the committee has long been
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concerned by the previous administration's misuse of community development block grant disaster relief funds, it is important to note that congress recently provided the program with $7.4 billion in funding. understanding, again, that you have only been with hud since march, and this is the first disaster relief effort you have been involved in, are you aware, mr. secretary, of some of the problems, some of the concerns of the program, especially regarding prior misuse of funds and what importance do you place on making sure these programs go to the americans who need them most? >> first, thank you for that question. it's very important to point out that cdbg and cdbgdr are different programs. >> correct. >> cdbgdr has been very
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important in disaster situations like the ones that we have recently seen. there are very good things that have been done through the program, and there are some things that perhaps are quite questionable that have been done. it doesn't mean that we are not recognizing the things that are good that have been done and the things that need to be done in terms of infrastructure and redevelopment and development of communities. those things will continue to be done, without question. so, you know, i am not questioning the things that have been effective and that have worked. we are questioning the things that have wasted taxpayers' money. and we have a way of reforming those things. >> wonderful. i am glad to hear that. mr. secretary, as the chairman of the oversight and investigations committee here on financial services, we're going to be looking into the program,
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and even a potential upcoming hearing. and i just ask for your commitment and cooperation to work with this committee on finding those various solutions that will improve effectiveness, efficiency and probably, most importantly, taxpayer accountability regarding the community development block grant disaster relief program. there are ways i think for rules -- putting rules for the program in statute, limiting -- putting limits on money, deadlines, perhaps recapturing of funds and even just perhaps better tracking of funds. i hope you will be willing to work with us. >> all of those things will be done, and that's why we put together a more business-like approach and we'll very much be looking forward to working with you on that. >> i appreciate it. staying with that theme, i wanted to go back to something you said in your testimony, and i quote, while pursuing its mission to provide safe, decent and affordable housing for the american people the hud team is
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also cognizant of its vital duty to be good stewards of taxpayer dollars and, like medical dictum, i love this the best. to first do no harm. having spent $1.6 trillion in taxpayer funds since its creation in 1965, is hud -- this is a broad question. is hud making life better for american cities and other communities? >> a lot of good things have been done. there is no question. i don't want to disparage the efforts that people have put into this. but i see all of the things that have been done before as stepping stones to help us to get to where we want to be. and i have a tendency not to spend a lot of time disparaging people. >> i appreciate that. i am interested to know how hud, how you -- what your perspective is on measuring success. beyond the number of programs it serves or creates or the amount of money spent.
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>> i think success for us will be not the number of people we get into these programs but how many people we get out of it. how many people actually climb that ladder of success and become self-sufficient. that's what our programs are all going to be aimed at. >> mr. secretary, i find your approach refreshing and uplifting. i thank you for your testimony here today. mr. chairman. i yield back. >> time of the gentle lady expired. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from georgia, mr. scott. >> yes, mr. secretary carson. tell me, why do you think president trump asked you to be secretary of hud? >> probably because, before i endorsed him, we spent a lot of time talking about what was happening, particularly in some of our disadvantaged communities and how we really needed to
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recognize that, if we are going to succeed as a nation, all of those people have to succeed as well. >> well, let me ask you this. it seems to me that i believe that the president put you there to give cover to cutting and eliminating the cbdg program. let me tell you why. first of all, this is -- this is the crucible of the whole argument. you should be at the forefront of telling the great story of success of the cbdg program. the fact that it has created and retained 386,000 jobs for low
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and moderate income people. the cbdg program has benefited 42 million low and moderate income persons through public improvements, including senior citizens, child care centers, centers for people with disabilities, veterans, veterans with disabilities. it's benefited 133 million low/moderate income persons through public service, like employment training. the funds are being used to assist credit worthy working families with down payments and closing costs assistance on their homes. you should be out here shouting the success of this program. but rather, i believe that the president has you there to give
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cover to cutting this program and eliminating it. here is what you told the "new york times," mr. carson. when this issue was brought up. in july of this year, you said, i know that the cbdg have been called out for elimination. you said that. i know that the cdbg program has been called out for elimination. was it president trump that called that out? who else could? my impression is that, what the president is really saying is that there are problems. oh, and you said this. i think it was someone on his
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staff who kind of said, well, maybe we should just get rid of the whole cbdg program. well, i am here to tell you, mr. secretary, i am not going to let you do that. and i believe we have enough democrats and republicans, because this is a bipartisan program that is doing well, and you would do well, mr. secretary, to stand up and fight back in this administration. it needs help when it comes down to dealing with hurting americans. and you are in this position,
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being secretary, not just because of what you said, well, even if we cut these funds, i believe that the american people are a compassionate people. mr. secretary, you should know better than anyone that compassion alone won't do it. it wasn't compassion alone that got you sitting where you are right now. somebody had to give you and your family and others a financial helping hand. we need you to speak up and fight back in this administration. talk that talk. >> the time of the gentleman has expired. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from missouri mr. luetkemeye luetkemeyer. >> welcome. last year president obama signed into law the housing opportunity
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through modernization act of 2016. legislation i introduced with my friend and colleague from missouri, mr. cleaver. who is here this morning. part of it required fha to streamline rules applying to condominiums. the department published a proposed rule and for timing sense, can you give us a sense of timing on the final rule, when you anticipate it coming out and being finalized. >> there were like 28 different sections that had to be satisfied, three-quarters of which have been satisfied, so we are coming down the home stretch on that. it's very important because condominium purchase is frequently the first step into home ownership. and home ownership is vitally important part of the economy of our nation. and wealth accumulation is the primary source of wealth accumulation. the average home owner has an accumulated wealth of $200,000. the average renter accumulated wealth of $5,000.
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it's a big issue. and one of the reasons that i am looking for ways to get a lot of the people who are relatively complacent with renting to be homeowners, but we have to do it in a responsible way. >> appreciate the comment. last month the congressional budget office released a report entitled options to manage fha's exposure to risk from guaranteeing single-family mortgages. the purpose was to provide policy options designed to further the true mission of fha while also improving the agency's financial position. i assume your staff has read that report. >> yes, they have. >> and are you aware of it? >> i -- we've had some discussions. >> okay. of the provisions that are in the there, are you looking at implementing some of those? are you able to talk about some of it yet that you have plans on? or are you still reviewing the report? >> those are things that obviously we'd be very happy to work with you. and i am looking forward to having an fha commissioner
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involved in those discussions as well. >> you have any idea when that individual will be appointed? >> i am hoping very shortly. it's been quite an ordeal. getting people in place. >> understand. as housing costs continue to grow and income for many low income families remain stagnant, what innovative programs is this administration considering to provide access to housing? >> well, as you probably know right now, we're only able to provide about one in four or one in three people with affordable housing who are looking for it. we have extensive waiting lists. and one of the things that is really helping to cut down on the backlog of people are some
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of these public/private partnerships, particularly through the r.a.d. programs that have taken these places that have big backlogs of capital improvements that need to be made and, by partnering with the private sector and through litech and things of that nature creating vast numbers of affordable units. i was in florida, in miami, recently, liberty square, where they're demolishing 700 units and replacing them with 1600 units. which are very nice and are complete neighborhoods. those are the kinds of things that will help us to make progress and we'll make progress a lot faster than we did with the old model. >> i only have a minute left. i was curious. you talked about the hurricane relief that you are working on
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and providing some housing solutions. can you elaborate more on that and explain. we have had three major storms here and had another storm hit last week. how is your agency providing relief and help for those folks? >> this is an unprecedented situation that has occurred with this level of hurricane activity so close one after another. we have been involved with each thing even before it hit. we had people on the ground, volunteers on the ground, assessing what the needs are, how many people do we have who have been displaced, how many units are there, you know. in puerto rico, for instance, you know, there's 203 multi-family units with over 2100 units. and the vast majority of those are assisted housing. finding out what happened to those people, where are they
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located, and how can we get them most quickly back into things. the initial response is through fema, and we work very, very closely with them. we rely upon their numbers to help with the long-term recovery aspects of what we do. >> thank you very much. my time expired. >> time of the gentleman has expired. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from california, mr. sherman. >> thank you. a lot of focus on the fha program, the prior administration was in the process of implementing a 25-basis point reduction in the premium that would have saved the average borrower $500 in the first year and more in high cost areas like mine, a million homeowners would have benefited and they would have saved over $27 billion. in your confirmation -- of course, the -- before you were
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nominated, the administration halted that plan to reduce the premium by 25 basis points. during your confirmation, you agreed to look at that policy with the possibility of rein re-instituting that 25 basis points of decline. we also see that back until 2013, you stopped making premiums when you reached a loan to value ratio of 78%. you had 22% equity in the property, and at that point it was thought you did not need insurance, to make insurance premium payments. that was reversed in 2013. are you moving toward perhaps reducing the insurance premium by 25 basis points, and are you examining going back to the
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policy of saying, once you have 22% equity, you don't have to make premium payments? >> certainly both of those things are under study, being looked at very carefully. i personally don't want to make the commitment in terms of either one of them right now because we're so close to having an fha commissioner. but do bear in mind that we want the prices of home ownership to be as low as possible while still protecting the taxpayers. >> and how will the recent reverse mortgage changes impact the mutual mortgage insurance fund, the fha insurance fund, and do you expect additional changes to the reverse mortgage program? >> when the reverse mortgage
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program was initiated it was done with very good intentions but without really looking down the pike, and people were taking out much larger amounts of their equity in the beginning than was sustainable. and this was leading to a lot more problems than it was helping. it's also resulted in a much higher default rate. and that's been a big drain on the mmif. so the changes that we have made will sort of stop the bleeding in terms of new mortgages -- or reverse mortgages. the ford mortgage program is doing well. we're draining from the reverse mortgage but putting into the fund for the other. we're very close to the 2% right now and we need to watch further before we -- >> i want to get into one other issue. beyond your responsibilities for housing and urban development, you have other responsibilities
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under the constitution, along with other cabinet secretaries. particularly section 4 of the 25th amendment. and we also live by this constitution. i -- the section 4 deals with the possibility that a president is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office. have you taken the time to get legal counsel to brief you on what your responsibility is as a cabinet secretary under the 25th amendment? >> i have not had an in-depth discussions of that. >> i would urge you to do so. this amendment was written in the early '60s as a result of what we -- life that happens, whether it's the dangers that a president faces, whether it's the health problems a president can face.
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i would urge you first to get legal counsel, to know what your responsibilities are, and second, to discuss with other cabinet officers how you would implement a section 4 of the 25th amendment. i yield back. >> okay. >> gentleman yields back. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from kentucky, mr. barr, committee chair of our monetary policy and trade subcommittee. >> thank you, mr. chairman. secretary, welcome to the committee. >> thank you. >> thank you for your service, not just as a public servant as secretary of the department, but also as a physician in private life and for helping so many children. and most of all for the example that you have set. that hard work, integrity, persistence, that those are values that are critical to escaping poverty. and thank you for expressing the viewpoint that many of us have that government dependency often
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undermines those values. as we have talked many times, my district in kentucky, unfortunately, has one of the highest opioid addiction rates in the country. unfortunately, the commonwealth of kentucky suffers under the third highest drug overdose mortality rate in america. but the good news is that i have seen success of evidence-based transition housing programs including st. james place, recovery kentucky, revive, shepherd's house. these are organizations that help individuals coming out of recovery and transition back into the workforce through job training, financial literacy and counseling services. unfortunately, hud's housing first program has not been helpful. individuals who come out of addiction and rehabilitation are placed in housing situations where their neighbors are i a buzing the very substances that they once abused themselves contributing to a cycle of
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addictions tearing apart our country and is costly to the american taxpayer. do has hud considered the need for supportive transitional housing programs as an alternative to the very counter productive housing first program? >> well, in the -- the homelessness is a big issue. and i think one that we as a nation actually have the opportunity to resolve. housing first, i think, gets a bad name because people think we're just getting people off the street and then we're forgetting about them. and maybe some people have done it that way. we are not doing it that way now. we believe in housing first, housing second and housing third. housing first, you get them off the street, because you know, you leave them under the bridge for a year, they're going to end up in an emergency room, frequently, end up getting admitted. a week's admission costs as much
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as a year or more of housing. so that really doesn't help us very much. there are a lot of statistics i can give you in terms of how much they cost when you don't house them versus when you do. so you get them housed first. secondly, you diagnose why they were in that condition. that's critical. and then housing third. you fix it. so, you know, i don't think it's appropriate just to get them off the street and forget about them and move on to the next project. >> thank you, secretary, for that answer. i also appreciate your desire to see a greater flexibility in hud vash and seeing the success. st. james place, in my district. i invite you to see what they're doing with hud vash. the flexibility you're requesting, we want to help you with that. organizations like st. james place are using the hud vash program to great success, requiring work, requiring sobriety, helping these people not just measuring success by how many veterans they're
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housing but how many veterans are leaving and graduating from the program. again, i want to invite you to come see the good folks at st. james place, in lexington, kentucky. dr. carson, i introduced an amendment on the house floor last month to stop overreach by your department . as you can imagine, in rural kentucky, manufactured housing is a terrific affordable housing opportunity for many of my constituents. as the leader of hud, that regulates manufactured housing, can you undertake an effort to comprehensively review all of these regulations impacting manufactured housing and direct your team to utilize this information so that any new regulations do not have unintended cost consequences? >> yes. we have a regulatory reform committee that has been formed at hud for just purposes like
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that. >> thanks for that. and finally, while we all abhor discrimination, the prior administration enacted regulations that you described in a 2015 washington times op-ed at administrations that you described in a 2015 washington times op ed as government engineered legislation to make matters worse. is hud actively working to revise that 2013 rule to avoid the problems you outlined in your article? >> we are making things logical, making things make sense. so, you know, the fair housing act of 1968 was one of the greatest pieces of legislation ever. i'm a big fan of it and certainly don't want any discrimination of any type going on under my watch. but we also don't want regulatory burdens to impede our ability to get things done and we don't want to penalize small
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municipalities who don't have the ability -- >> time of the gentleman has expired. the chair recognizes the gentleman from missouri, mr. cleaver. >> thank you, mr. chairman. again, thank you for being here. i don't want to be mellow dodra, but when i was elected i said i don't want to be speaker, assistant speaker, i don't want to be the person in charge of trash, whatever. all i wanted was to be on the subcommittee on housing, only thing -- that was my biggest aspiration coming through congress. and it was because of my background and what i had seen and what has hurt me personally and many other people over the years which is when people make
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disparaging comments about people living in public housing. you and i grew up very similar so you know that's not something that can give you great joy. my father living in his home today, my goal is to never let him know ahead of time that he can watch us on c-span, because i don't want him having done all the work he did to get four kids out to hear some of the things that people unintentionally say. because this is the house i lived in for seven years. six people, my mother, my father and my three sisters. seven years. my father worked three jobs like a lot of the other people in our
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community, three jobs. willie taylor, tommy nelson, katie boston, percy, cleveland, the troy kleiner, classmates of mine, their parents were doing the same thing. i never hear people today say i can hardly wait to get my own public housing unit. this is a serious thing to me, my family and a lot of other people. my goal is to do something before i leave here more than i've done and hopefully can inspire others to want to do something, to do some major overhauls of some of our policies. we were able to do 3700 together. i want to ask you a question about that.
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but i want it to be known that helping one family will not change the world, but it will change the world for that one family. and people want help and they need it from time to time. if you look at 17 in general nini -- genesis, when abram left going to the land of promise, he stopped at a place that many theologians call the halfway house. public housing is this. a lot of people stay there until they can get someplace else. my father -- my father sent my mother to college when i was almost in the seventh grade.
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i yield back the balance of my time. >> gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from michigan, mr. hi huizinga. >> to your right. i see my colleague has just left. i know it was very emotional for him. i think this is a very emotional issue for a lot of us. in my family, i have a father who was born in 1921. he passed away a year and a half ago. my mother was born in 1931. they lived in flint.
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that's where she was born and raised. recently i went and visited. i asked my mom for a couple of the addresses where he family had moved around to. i had -- i'm getting choked up myself. i had my fourth son with me, who is 13. and i stopped. i stopped the car in front of the houses, the main house that my mother grew up in. i had cousins and uncles and aunts that all lived there. in fact, i had one of my cousins frankly reprimand me and ask me, what in the world were you doing in that neighborhood. i know how hard people have worked to get out of those situations. i saw it. i witnessed it. i've seen it with my own mom as well. and it pains me that my colleague, my friend has felt that he has heard disparaging
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remarks about those who live in public housing. that was his quote. and i wrote it down. and this is the inspirational part. a lot of people stay until they can get somewhere else. and i know that's my goal. they believe that's his goal. i trust that that's your goal as well. i think the question and the debate that we have is how do we get that to happen? how do we allow that? as i've seen some of your discussions and we've had a chance to talk in the past, not everybody takes advantage of those opportunities to move ahead or to get out of a particular situation. and i believe what you're doing with moving to work to allow flexibility for these public housing authorities, to attract private sector folks in there, attract these outside
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opportunities is commendable. and it's my understanding that about 55% of able bodied adults receiving housing assistance are working. and that to me is a key. how do we make sure that we are giving those folks who are working hard, you know, non-senior citizens, non-disabled, the able bodied individuals -- do you support these work requirements and things that are being tried to sometimes nudge people out of a comfort zone? >> thank you for asking that question. you know, we all come at this from different angles and different life experiences, but when you really sit down and talk to people from all these different places, we all really have similar wants and desires. we allow ourselves sometimes to
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be manipulated into thinking that we're enemies. we're not enemies. this issue of getting people to excel and realize the talent that god has given them is a serious issue. because there are those who would have everybody thoobl yo th -- believe that you're a victim and everybody's against you. we have to recognize things like education. it doesn't matter where you come from or what your background. if you get a good education in this country, you can write your own ticket. we need to emphasize that. that needs to be integrated into our living situations as well. health care needs to be taken out of the political arena. we need to be putting clinics into our neighborhoods so that people don't use the emergency room as their primary care that costs five times more and also
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you wound up with all these stage four diseases because people don't have consistent care. all of these kinds of things, we can solve if we as americans are willing to work together and not allow ourselves to be polarized. >> closing seconds. they believe we need to look at how current housing assistance programs either incentivize that or hinder that opportunity. hopefully you'll be able to talk more about that. >> the chair now recognizes the gentle lady from new york, ma many -- ms. velasquez. >> i'm here. i'm the only member who is a puerto rican american citizen who sits on this committee. since i don't have president trump in front of me, i just would like for you to let him know how shameful all the tweets that he put out this morning, how offended and insults i am as
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an american citizen. and i would like to suggest that the president get some history lessons regarding the puerto rican relationship with the united states. in 1898 american troops invaded puerto rico. american troops took over puerto rico. in 1917, puerto ricans didn't invite the united states armed forces. it was invaded. so with that invasion comes responsibility. in 1917, american citizenship was imposed on puerto ricans. timely so that they could join the armed forces and fight in
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world war i. so those tweets are unpresidential. the most basic fundamental responsibility of the president of the united states, the president of the most powerful country in the world is to show up and provide the assistance and relief that american citizens need. they don't need this type of insult. and by the way, why is it that he doesn't put the same tweets when he comes to texas or florida? you invaded puerto rico. we invaded -- the united states of america invaded puerto rico. my uncle participated in the korean war. we shed blood to defend the
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freedoms that every american in this country enjoys. so to kick fellow citizens when they are down is shameful. you said that you're providing assistance for those who lost their homes in puerto rico. i hear from the national low income housing coalition and affordable housing groups on the island that the federal government's housing response has not been sufficient. what are you doing? in my hometown we lost 10,000 homes that were destroyed. what kind of assistance are you providing? >> thank you for asking that question. you know, i do sympathize greatly with the people who have lost so much. there is 114,000 single family homes that are fha backed that
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many of them have sustained significant damage. our people are on the ground, including one of our associate senior assistant secretaries, nelson bergone who is a puerto rican. >> so what kind of assistance are you providing for those who lost their homes? >> what we are providing are insurance for those who have lost their homes through section 203 h, 203 k for rehabilitation of homes. >> dr. carson, are you working with some housing groups on the ground? >> and i will be going to puerto rico myself next week. >> that's great, but that doesn't provide the assistance that they need today. you know, people are dying. it's the rainy season in puerto rico. i understand that fema promised
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to bring tarps for roofs that were lost. it's the rainy season. people are dying today. >> fema is the first responder there. they're gathering information. we're working with them on that process for the long-term recovery. >> dr. carson, when you were nominated by the president, i said what does he know about housing? but then, you know, you're a doctor and you said you're going to take care of those who are suffering from health issues in public housing. i see a disconnect between your confirmation hearings and your commitment to address the issue of asthma, respiratory illnesses in public housing and cutting $2 billion out of the capital and
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operating funds for housing. >> the time of the gentle lady has expired. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from california, mr. royce. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. secretary, at the outset here i just wanted to enviinvitu to come to my district, especially out to san bernardino, california, where the housing authority is working on a moving to work program. it's an agency that's been up and running for some time there and it's running very effectively. and they've had a number of successful self-sufficiency programs including homeowner sh ship programs and term limits on those and work requirements. we'd love to have you see this firsthand, if you could. >> sure. >> and i was wondering if you could talk a little more about
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what the department is doing to advance mtw, as it's called, the moving to work program and other sustainable best practices which left people out of their situation and onto economic independence. >> sure. thank you for that question. the moving to work initiative really was to provide various municipalities with the ability to be flexible, recognizing that they were probably the people who best knew what their needs were. and this really allows for a significant amount of innovation. the first 39 districts that benefitted from this have produced some pretty good results and that result is extending the program to another 100 communities over the next
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seven years. i'm hopeful that we've been able to go far beyond that and look forward to working with you on ways that we can expand that program. we're looking for everything that is highly effective. and some of the programs that have been talked about here this morning have had some components that are highly effective. we are going to make sure we learn from those things and continue to push those things. there may be different mechanisms to do it but we're not going to abandon those things. that would be foolishness. >> two other things. the department is reviewing its policy to allow pace liens on fha finance loans. the defaults on those loan are on the rise. i was asking you to comment on when you would make a decision to withdraw the current
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mortgagee letter for how the fha with treat these pace loans? >> it's an issue when you put somebody in the first lien position rather than the lender. >> that's very concerning to us. >> we'll have a decision on that soon. >> one last question. as you know, mr. secretary, the gses have engaged in significant credit risk sharing transactions. this shields american taxpayers to some extent. i've been told that the fha may have the authority to do similar risk sharing transactions or at least purchase co-insurance to reduce the risk to the public. i think this could be a very constructive means of reducing taxpayer exposure. would you support legislation here or regulatory clarification of fhas existing authority to
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explore credit risk sharing? >> we have already engaged in some discussions and are continuing those. i'm very much looki ing forwardo having an fha commissioner. i agree with you that is an area ripe for discussion and movement. >> thank you, secretary carson. i yield back. >> chair now recognizes the gentle lady from ohio ms. beaty. >> i have a series of questions. many of them mr. secretary i'll ask you to simply affirm or deny with a yes or no vote. on july 12th, i sent you a letter signed by more than 15 or 20 of my other colleagues as members of congress. and in that letter -- and i want to enter that letter into the
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record. >> without objection. >> so first of all, i want to know did you receive the letter and read it? >> i don't know what was in the letter so i can't tell you whether i received it. >> okay. it was requesting that you follow through on your predecessor's decision to lower these annual premiums, citing the fiscal strength of the fund and historically low homeowner ship rates especially among first time home buyers. >> certainly i've had some correspondence on that so it was probably your letter. >> so did you respond to it and i didn't get it? is that what you're saying? did you respond to it? >> i personally did not. did my staff respond to you? i don't know. >> i think we did from some intergovernmental relations percent us a paragraph. it did not answer my question. >> well, i can answer it for you
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now. >> i guess the reason i'm asking you this, is it your practice when members of the united states congress sends a letter personally addressed to you that you pass it onto a congressional intergovernmental -- i don't know what that person does, relations person to say that they are received it. i did not address it to them. >> many letters that come -- >> many letters from members of congress on the committee that you're testifying before -- >> do not come personally to me -- >> no. this was sent personally to me. >> it doesn't actually end up in my hands. >> people write me personally all the time. but if a member -- let me ask a different question. so if a member of congress is writing to you about issues that you're coming to testify before this committee, you get it, it doesn't get in your hands and you say oh well, so what are and you don't answer? >> no.
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someone else goes through it and then they bring it to me. >> no. it's my seetime. i want to ask you would you answer the letter that's coming from me and 20 other members of congress? >> when the letter is brought to me, we will give you a response. >> we or you? >> i can respond to you right now. >> i'm some other questions so maybe after i'll leave the letter with you. often times when members come here, you represent not only as secretary of housing, but the president. i have a question for you. we've spent a lot of time talking about puerto rico and the virgin islands. so this can be yes or no. do you think it was presidential for president trump to throw paper towels when he was in puerto rico, yes or no? >> that's not a yes or no question. >> sure, it is. yes, it was presidential or no it wasn't presidential? >> i don't believe. >> second question, do you think it was presidential when president trump talked about two
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remembers in puerto rico that they were messing up the budget? is that presidential, yes or no? >> i think it would be wonderful if we talked about what we can do to help our people rather than divide them. >> when he asked the people in puerto rico how many people had died and then compared it to a greater number in katrina? >> again, i think we should be talking about positive things. >> i think you're absolutely right. for me positive like congressman cleaver, all my life i've wanted to serve on this committee. i didn't live in public housing but i dedicated more than 25 years of my life. my very first professional job was working in public housing. let me move to something positive. in this committee chairman clayton of the securities ay ie exchange commission testified before this committee. he said that although he had not asked for more funding in fiscal year 2018 that in fiscal year
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'19 he would be requesting more monies. you requested a 15% cut to your budget. will you be asking for an increase in fiscal year '19? that's positive, so i assume you're going to tell me yes. >> evidence is what drives our budget request. >> thank you. i-year-o i yield back. >> the chair now recognizes the gentleman from florida, mr. posey. >> thank you for appearing today and thank you for the character and the integrity, the heart and the class and the aspirations that you bring to your position. many people would say that you had maybe one of the best
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opportunities in the world to become a failure, to be dependent on government. you proved all the critics wrong and you became the model of success of achieving the american dream and proof that anyone can do it. i think a lot of people applaud you for that. and i applaud you for trying to help others do that too. >> thank you. >> unfortunately, there's a lot of people that somehow benefit from people being dependent on government because they think it keeps them being elected. i think self-sufficiency is the way to go and you obviously do too. thank you for your efforts to transfer people from dependency to self-sufficiency. >> i wanted to apologize for some of the mean and nasty comments made toward you today. they're undeserving.
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they criticize the president for attempting to shame somebody, that may be logical to some people. i'm sure it's probably foreign to you and you're probably wondering about that. >> i'm used to it. >> most intelligent people would. we all have the same people in our districts. they hate the president and they hate anybody that doesn't hate the president. so they're going to be around for a while so we just get used to it and do the right thing for the right reasons, which you have a history of doing. your initiative to reimagine how hud works, to restore the american dream and rethink american communities is an awesome plan. my question to you this morning is how can we become more engaged in helping you achieve those goals? >> well, thank you very much your comments and for that question.
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i will be coming back to you particularly as we continue to analyze what works, because in order to be efficient, we need the ability to be flexible and to be able to address things quickly so that we don't have to go through so many other different channels. we're not just going to come to you vaguely with something like that. we're going to say specifically we need to do x and y so we can get to z quickly. so just be open to that. we want to work with you. we want to benefit from your collective knowledge, experience and the fact that you represent the people. and we are public servants. that means we work for the people. they don't work for us. therefore we need to know through you how we can best serve them but we want to work with you to do things in an effective way. >> thank you, mr. secretary.
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clearly you have the heart of a servant. you can always count on me and most of the people here for our support. >> thank you. >> god bless you. >> chair now recognizes the gentleman from washington, mr. hekt. >> secretary carson, i've been interested since i first arrived here in the reverse mortgage concept. we were able to pass legislation giving you more flexibility at the dependent to run the program. but it's always been hard to get a good sense of how the reverse mortgage program is doing because the actuarial numbers swing so wildly from year to year. in addition, although the program is small compared to the fha forward mortgage program, the swings in reverse mortgages are so large, they're pushing
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around the capital ratio as you know for the mmi fund and affecting insurance premiums for the more stable forward program. i know you haven't been through a reporting cycle yet for these actuarial reports, but i wanted to get your initial thoughts on whether you'd be open to changes in the framework. i'm thinking about asking gao to consider options, including moving the reverse mortgage program out of the mmi fund or creating new forecasting assumptions for the program that would create more stability over time and from year to year. what are you impressions? >> i think that's a very worthy thing to pursue. we're looking at just over the last year $7.7 billion out of the mmi because of heckam. the changes that we've made auz
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-- as of this month and going forward i don't think will have that problem but we still have the residual problem there. yes, i believe that would be a worthy pursuit. >> secondly, i want to ask about housing. i think the cost of shelter is kind of rapidly going out of control in a lot of communities, especially in my part of the country. i think part of the reason for that personally is that we have poorly designed federal structure for dealing with housing policy because nobody's looking at the whole picture at all. there are no policy makers charged with looking across the whole spectrum. it's incredibly siloed. that's not just an observation on the number of programs. i'm talking about policy making itself. even if you look at congress for example, federal mortgage assistance is spread across
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agriculture committee, this committee and the veterans affairs committee. even within this committee, the primary mortgage market is over seen by financial institutions subcommittee while the secondary mortgage market is in the housing or insurance or capital marks depending on who's doing the securitizing. it may be a bunch of narrowly tailored programs is the best way to address housing costs although i frankly doubt it. but as a result of these silos, i think we address each of the problems in isolation. so we separate homeownership from rentals, market rate housing from affordable housing and homelessness from the rent's too damn high. my view is housing is an ecosystem and all the parts are connected and especially through housing prices. you're new to this, the whole world of housing policy and so my hope is that you're kind of
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looking at it with fresh eyes. i'm wondering if you see the same thing i do, that we deal with theis in a track dhufractu fragmented and siloed way. and if you do, how you address it so we get about the business of not just keeping the dream of homeowner ship alive for americans but also assuring that everybody has a good place, a good shelter, a good home in which to reside. the number one priority here ought to be blanket, pillow, roof. if you don't have a pillow to lay your head on, a blanket to cover yourself with and a roof over your head, all the other problems in life get amplified considerably. >> we do have to make sure that we're willing to work across different silos -- >> do you see it as a problem? >> -- so we can address it
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wholistically. in the past we have not done that. i've worked with the nac, the department of agriculture to develop more wholistic approaches to these problems. i think that's the only way we're going to get them solved. >> i look forward to working with you on that. >> the chair now recognizes the gentleman from florida, mr. ross. >> thank you, chairman. secretary, thank you for being here. i appreciate all your efforts. where i'm from is central florida. the tampa bay area has made quite an expansion in public housing and has a wait list of 13,000 people. we're trying to expand it. we're trying to work more with your office. but one of the things i've got a concern about is the voucher recipients and the portability of vouchers. i guess my concern is that
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you've got regional housing authorities. how can we best design these so that we can get some of these people off of wait lists and consolidate them but allow them to have better access to affordable housing through this voucher program. >> that's obviously a huge issue and a big question. how do we get those waiting lists down. >> yeah. >> should we be prioritizing certain types of people rather than just have a consecutive waiting list. those are questions that we're examining now. we'd be happy to work with you on those. again, the key i think is the public/private partnerships. programs like rad which has brought in $4.3 billion of private money to get rid of some
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of these capital backlogs and to create even more housing. we need to create win/win situations, even utilize iing t new tax plan that has been put forward. they recognize how important lie tack is and have included a way to make sure that it remains profitable for people. this is how we're going to get out of this problem. >> i agree. we've got a good voucher program. it needs to be able to follow the jobs. that's important because of course what brings dignity. but the incentive of private capital coming into the market partnered with hud is very crucial. and i guess my concern is we've seen some successes in that regard in not only the capital but also the discipline and the counselling necessary. the family self-sufficiency program for example, one that i think has shown some success, do
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you think that's been a program that we should continue to not only fund but to expand? >> absolutely. anything that has to do with creating self-sufficiency. and we're looking for innovative approaches for that. one of the things that i'm looking at in the future is taking a sliver of themo monthl subsidy and putting it in what would be like an escrow. that would be used for the routine maintenance of that unit. if there's not a lot of maintenance, it continues to grow and grow. but if a hole is poked in the screen and the lightbulbs are broken and the door needs to be painted every time, it's not going to accumulate. but you let the people know how much money is in it because that incentivizes them to really take care of the property and if they leave public housing in five or
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ten years they get that money for a down payment. that has the dual effect of allowing people to get into housing but it also teaches them the responsibilities of homeownership because they start acting like homeowners. >> it changes the culture. it grows appreciation and builds a base of dignity and ownership. i think innovation is the absolute compass that we need to be following in order to change a model that has not worked very well over the last 50 years. >> exactly. >> finally the moving to work program. what more can we do for those who are nonelderly and work capable to provide them with a moving to work insenticentivein >> people have tried different it ratierations of that over th years. as they start climbing the
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ladder, we pull the rug out from underneath them. we've got to let them get far enough up the ladder that they're not even looking down to see if their rug is there anymore. we need to understand how that works and the timing of it. >> i'd like to see it expanded. it is a pilot program right now. we've seen it in orlando. it's working there. with that, my time is up. >> chair now recognize gentle lady there new york ms. maloney. >> i'd like to build on congressman ross's questions about public/private partnership. you've discussed your support for it in addressing our housing needs. but in your 2018 budget request you target programs that encourage these partnerships. personally to leverage, as you said, is so important. there are not enough dollars out there in affordable housing.
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one in particular, 202, senior housing, there's always a waiting list by seniors needing the housing but also developers who are willing to put it up. but the funding hand been there. i'm glad to see there's more in this budget, but still it's been cut back dramatically, quite frankly, from when i first came to congress. how can you think the administration can encourage public/private partnerships if its budget largely cuts out the government's role and cuts the funding for the government's role in the relationship? >> thank you for that question. i understand the basis of it. you know, here's the situation. would we like to have almost unlimited money to deal with these problems? absolutely. that would be ideal. but we don't. and we have a $20 trillion national debt. now, i'm not going to have to pay it.
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you probably won't either although you're younger than i am. you may have to pay some of it. >> that's true. i want to get onto another question. if you put your money into things that leverage more money and more housing, it's certainly a dollar well spent. and the budget does cut the private/public partnership section. and my request is to see if we can work together to see if we can restore some of it. >> absolutely. i'd be happy to work with you. >> i want to invite you to my district. i represent a lot of hud projects. m if you're ever in new york, we'd love to set something up for you to look at some of the things we have going on the ground. my district is very different. as you know, in new york people don't live horizontally. we live vertically. and we live in co-ops and condos. and people are asking for you to
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revisit opening up assistance to first time homeowners. that's been one of your themes. right now especially seniors are asking if the co-op owners could be part of hud's reverse mortgage program. this is the type of housing i represent. and right now co-op owners are unfairly excluded from fha's reverse mortgage program. i would say for no real reason. so my question is will you consider allowing owners of housing co-ops to participate in fha's reverse mortgage programs? >> i certainly don't see any reason why we shouldn't engage in that conversation with you. >> well, that's great. >> and let's look at the numbers and let' see what works. i'm doing things that make sense. >> thank you very much. because people are requesting that, particularly seniors and
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we have not been able to achieve that. this would be a great break through. thank you. >> absolutely. >> as you know, fha plays a counter cyclical role in the housing market. it expands in times of market stress, which we went through in 2008 when everyone else is pulling back. and it shrinks in times of market stability. fha's market share has substantially diminished since its peak in the housing crisis and has stabilized in these past few years. despite this, some people continue to claim that the fha's plain and out sized role in the housing market and demand that fha shrink. do you agree that fha is currently playing too large a role in the housing market? >> yeah. well, right now we're at about a
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13.2%, which is sort of back down to the prehousing crisis level. it expanded during the crisis like it should. it's sort of like an accordion. it's a buffer. that's the way it's supposed to work. that's the ideal situation. doesn't mean there aren't some reforms that we're looking at to make it even more efficient. generally it has a very positive balance. it allows people to be able to get into homes, particularly first time home buyers, a lot of minorities. and we want to make sure that we maintain that strength. >> thank you very much. >> time of the gentle lady has expired. the chair wishes to inform all members that we will be excusing the witness at 12:30 today. chair now recognizes the gentleman from north carolina, mr. pittinger. >> thank you again for being with us today. your demeanor and patience has been exemplary. i have so much appreciation for
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the focus and clarity of mission that you bring, your life experience offers so much for each of us to pay keen attention to. i particularly appreciate all of your continued efforts on behalf of those individuals who are suffering of course from the natural disasters that have occurred in our country. we have seen unprecedented damage that has been caused by hurricane harvey and irma and mari mariah. our hearts go out obviously to the victims of all of these awful storms. as you're very much aware a year ago hurricane matthew struck north carolina with subsequent thousand year floods severely damaged 98,000 homes and 19,000 businesses. we still have 150 or so families that are still living in fema
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trailers. it's affected our poorest counties in our state and frankly some of the poorest counties in the country, bladen and cumberland and robinson. some of these counties we hope to show you hopefully in early november when you can return to our state. what i would like to ask you, mr. secretary, is what can you say in terms of what the department is doing on long-term disaster relief for these areas that are not in the media and are not on everyone's attention but the pain and suffering is still there. what can you say is being done currently? >> thank you for that. and thank you for your extremely good advocacy for the people of north carolina. i did have a scheduled visit there, as you know, recently and then this little problem called harvey came up.
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but we are rescheduling that visit to look at that very issue in terms of, you know, the long-term recovery function. we didn't get the final plan from the state in terms of recovery until the 21st of april of this year. >> yes, sir. >> we are working with your state and local officials already and we'll continue to do so. but we have not by any stretch of the imagination forgotten about that just because these other ones have come up. >> are you comfortable that hud has mechanisms in place to assure that money is spent in a fiscally accountable and timely way. >> for some reason i'm not hearing well. >> are you comfortable that the states have accountable structures in place that the taxpayer money is being used in an appropriate way? >> let me put it this way.
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at the state level, there seems to be more accountability than there is frequently at a lower level. so one of the things that i'm finding just in looking at past data in terms of efficiency, you know, working with the state tends to be a little bit better than working with 100 different municipalities. >> yes, sir. >> my district is, you may be aware, includes charlotte. it's a major metropolitan area of our state. i've got seven other additional rural counties and i would like to ask you, what is hud's involvement in these rural areas particularly and the value that it can bring to these communities? >> one thing that sometimes people assume is that hud is not interested in rural areas because it's called housing and
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urban development. but obviously if you look at programs that we have and those in association with usda, we do pay quite a bit of attention, maybe want to rename the department at some point to reflect that. there's particularly large issues with poverty and with drug use in the rural areas and we are working across the silos with the department of justice and department of agriculture on those issues. >> thank you, mr. secretary. thank you again for your great spirit and your clarity of mission and dedication. we truly appreciate you. >> thank you. >> gentleman yields back. chair now recognizes the gentleman from michigan mr. kildy. >> thank you secretary carson for being here. as i mentioned in my opening statement and as we chatted
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briefly, i'm from flint, michigan, a community not far from where you grew up. and a community that has been struggling in many ways for decades, but in a particular way for the past few years as a result of the water crisis. and i referenced in your testimony that the department under your leadership intends to take on some of these issues of exposure to toxic chemicals and housing and lead is a very significant issue. you know as a physician the impact high levels of lead exposure can have on the brain of a developing child. this tragedy, while in the eyes of many is sort of over, it's not in the news every day, it's an ongoing struggle, not only in terms of the infrastructure needs which are slowly being met, the health and development needs which are not entirely met
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and the redevelopment challenge this community faces as a result of a real gut punch to the community. so the challenges it was already dealing with have been exacerbated by being known as the city of 100,000 people that had poisoned water, the impact on housing values and neighborhood development is palpable and dangerous. in the previous administration, we had kind of an all hands on deck approach to flint's recovery and i was pleased to see during the campaign when then candidate now president trump visited flint, he said -- and i'm quoting him, this is regarding flint, we will get it fixed. it will be fixed quickly and effecti effectively. as i stated, flint is not fixed yet. i reached out to the white house very early on and asked for a point person on flint's recovery because there is a legitimate and important federal role in
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this. have not received a response. it's important that we have some sense of who we can work with. to your knowledge, is there a point person? i haven't been able to get an answer out of the white house? i wonder if you'd have a sense of that, if there's a point person that we could work with. >> i agree that there needs to be one and i'm certainly willing to look into that for you. >> i appreciate that. perhaps as we mentioned you and i could find time to meet. i have a real interest in the work of your department broadly. i'd like to share some thoughts with you, but specifically to talk about how my community can continue to receive is tthe sup that it certainly deserves. thank you for that. i know this has been raised. i raised it a bit. the preconditions that led to the crisis in flint are not unique to flint.
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we have seen a lot of older communities and i heard the reference to not just traditional large cities but small towns as well that have not seen the kind of private investment and that still do require some public support for their development challenges in order for them to be fully competitive and make the contributions that they should make. so i am really concerned about continuing deep cuts to the community development and block grant program for example, a highly flexible program, a form of federal investment that really defaults to the states and in many cases directly to local jurisdictions, making decisions for themselves as to what their needs might be. as in the case of any program, there could be problems, but what i fear is that this administration -- and i'm really interested in your take on this -- is taking a throw the baby out with the bath water approach.
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this is a really important program that is essential to lots of communities. can you help me understand that your position is on this important program? >> my position is we should save the baby. don't throw it out with the bath water. the fact of the matter is, as i've mentioned before, there are multiple good things in these programs that have been very effective, some of which you've just mentioned. we will make sure that those things continue. >> i appreciate that. as long as we don't take the approach that the only way to help the programs is to just make them so small that they're not consequential any longer. i agree there's a need for change. as long as the solution is not simply to eliminate the program over time, i'm happy to work with you on that. thank you very much. thanks for your testimony. >> the chair now recognizes the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr.
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ruffus. >> my district is home to an organization called hearth which provides transitional housing services to victims of domestic violence. they provide temporary shelter and protection from danger. hearth has provided thousands of my constituents with a safe space. hearth has a compelling mission and it fulfills a priceless service for the community. this program has a strong track record because it provides residents with the services they need to transition to self-sufficiency. despite this, hearth and similar provider are in danger of losing their hud funding unless they abandon the high standards that have contributed to their success. this ties into the housing first policy in the context of drug
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treatment programs. under your predecessor, hud adopted the housing first policy and deprioritized programs that failed to confirm to that orthodoxy. we've told that hud will be less generous in funding transitional programs. i ask about their future place in our housing assistance toolbox. i would generally characterize his response as a full endorsement of the housing first policy, which again is going to entail a deprioritization of transitional housing. i would appreciate your taking a look at this issue and your feedback on whether you think that we have to really keep our eye on the ball on transitional housie ining and the context of housing first policy. >> i'd be very happy to work with you on that. but everything that we do is driven by the numbers, driven by the evidence, what's actually
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effective. when i talk housing first, i may be talking something a little different than what the previous secretary was talking. >> we want follow up with you on this because we want to make sure this orthodoxy he was going after isn't negatively reflecting of good programs that have been beneficial to our community. >> i agree. >> the moving to work program, it's been discussed today. i believe this program offers flexibilities that can help public housing authorities better serve their local populations. one of the housing authorities does have a moving to work program. there are others that would like it. i want to hear from you whether you support the expansion of the moving to work program? >> i was very happy with the expanse to another hundred areas. i'm hopeful that we can with the help of congress move far beyond that. >> i'd like to see it really transition from being a pilot program. it's been a pilot program since
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1996. i don't know how long you have to have a program be a pilot program. one of the three national program objectives is that projects principally benefit low and moderate income persons. funds often end up being used for parks, pools diverting communities with the greatest need particularly in housing. in your testimony this past june you stated that the cbgb program is not well targeted to the poorest populations and has not demonstrated a measurable impact on communities. can you elaborate? >> some of the same things that you just mentioned in the question and some abuses that are even more significant than that. this is a program that again has some very good components and the things that are good in that program and home program and
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various programs, we're not just going to abandon those things. we're going to obviously utilize that information in order to improve what we're able to do. rch >> you mentioned in your testimony earlier this year that the first hud secretary robert weaver said we must look for human solutions not just policies and programs. what do you think he meant by human solutions? >> i hope what he meant is that we need to be looking at the people themselves, as opposed to just the concept of sticking them in a house and thinking that our job is done. if we develop the human capital that exists here, it benefits us all. >> it sounds like that would still be as relevant today as it was when secretary weaver first said that. would you agree with that? >> that would be the way that i would look at it. >> thank you. i yield back. >> chair now recognizes the
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gentleman from texas, mr. gonzalez. >> i yield to the ranking member. i yield my time. >> i appreciate having the time listening to how much you care about the most vulnerable in our society. and how you want to help people become independent and out of poverty. and yet, your budget and what you are advocating for and what you're advocating against does not really define your representation that you care about these vulnerable people. you're cutting public housing by $2 billion. housing choice vouchers by 800 maryland, project base rental assistance by $65 million. you have members on the opposite side of the aisle talking about perhaps funded by the community
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development block grant. they don't know that you've completely eliminated that. the home investment partnership program we talk about the national housing crisis that we have, and the national housing trust fund is completely eliminated. and the choice neighborhoods initiative eliminated. and you know, section 811 housing for persons with disabilities cut by $121 million. and so there's one thing that stands out in my mind based on the campaign and looking at what happened in the primaries. and things that the president said and how he talked to you and others and demeaned you so much. one of the things that stands out in my mind so vividly is how he mocked and mimicked a disa e disabled journalist. and so you have -- he has openly mocked disabled people and hud's
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most recent budget proposal which you supported and defended proposes a steep 18% cut for section 811 program which is focused on serving low income persons with disabilities as well as harmful rent increases on section 811 residents. this is very concerning in light of the critical role that hud plays in providing housing assistance for low income persons with disabilities as well as enforcing the fair housing act which protects persons with disabilities against discrimination in the housing market. do you remember seeing that displayed by the president where he mocked and mimicked a disabled journalist in do you remember seeing the sight of that? >> i remember seeing the episode that you're referring to. >> do you think it was wrong for the president to send that kind of message about what he cares about disabled people?
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>> well, you know, i'm not really here to talk about the president. i really want to talk about the people that we're trying to help. >> yes, i want to talk about the people, too. right now i want to talk about the disabled people. i want to toe know if his attit is such that it is reflected in the budget and you're defending the budget and are you defending in any shape form or fashion the fact that the person who wanted to be the president of the united states of america for all people would treat disabled people that way? what do you think about that? >> as a pediatric neurosurgeon, a large portion of my patients were disabled people. >> all right. so you do care about disabled people. is that right? >> of course. >> when you're in front of disabled people who are advocating for resources to help with hair lives and they ask you about the president and the fact
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that he mocked and mimicked disabled journalists during the campaign and they asked you, do you defend the president in doing that, what did you say to them? >> i would say that i'm going to use the resources and the talents that we have to look out for the interests of the disabled people. we're going to commit to making sure that they're not. >> do you think the cut of $121 million is a demonstration of your support for the disabled, section 811 housing for persons with who are disabled? >> i would say it's not the amount of money. that's the result that you get that's important. >> i can't hear you. >> it's not the amount of money but rather the result that you achieve that's important. >> you keep talking about the amount of money but you know your real concerns and what you care about is reflected in the budget. and it is difficult for me to believe that you really care about the disabled when you are
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cutting the resources to them because of the difficulty in their lives and the tremendous needs that they have. it is difficult for me to believe you care about them with these kind of cuts. i yield back. >> time of the gentle man has expired. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from texas, mr. williams into thank you, mr. chairman and thank you, sect carson for being here today and thank you for your testimony. i'd like to thank you for reaching out to those of us involved in the baseball shooting. appreciate that very much. i also want to thank you for your leadership. i've been around leaders all my life. you're a leader. thank you for that. i want you for what you've done in texas. i'm from texas. thank you for what you've done. texas with hurricane harvey for reaching out quickly. your response demonstrated swift action and resolute and texans are grateful for what you have done.
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and i'm also happy that in such a pivotal time for our country, history of our nation that your leadership understands the challenges we face. we talked about them today and understand the actions necessary to be the best possible steward of the taxpayer which is important. >> thank you. >> while assisting those in need to achieve their god given potential. mr. secretary, i want to start by talking about fha's mortgage insurance program which so many in my district addressed with my staff and myself. we're aware of many complaints of lenders being subjecteded to extend the costly investigations and lawsuits by the department of justice for their participation in the federal housing administration's mortgage insurance program. while i applaud efforts to have penalize lenders who submitted false or feud u lent mortgages many are being asked to pay penalties for loans reviewed and audited by the fha and hud. these forcing many lenders to keep them from participating in the program making it difficult
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for many first time home buyers to purchase homes. can can you explain what circumstances would institute a penalty on a lender after fha and hud approved their mortgage? >> it has been a problem because of all red tape and regulations. and there's so many traps involved. when people do things that are nonmaterial mistakes and then they find themselves in the kind of difficulty that would basically drive them away from even wanting to be involved in the first place. i've talked to attorney general sessions about that. and my staff and staff from doj are working on those regulatory barriers that are precluding people from wanting to get involved. >> the hud workforce which you supervise is just short of 8,000 full time employees. in comparison, some federal agencies this may appear to be fairly lean.
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8,000 is hard to saline. given the responsibilities and scope of the department, many could argue that the organization is unnecessarily large. do you have the flexibility and authority to right the size of the department if needed and moving resources, employees as needed to meet the goals that you and president have set? >> i think we have close to what we need. we've come down from 15,000 to 8,000. in recent years. and are looking with a very careful look at the actual need to hiring and bringing people on. and utilizing them effectively and utilizing people in multiple areas in order to increase the efficiency, recognizing that we do have to be stewardsed of taxpayers' money. >> well, and then what challenges sand in the way of you organizing your department
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to achieve the best return on taxpayer investment which would be cost and return? >> well what, we've done is divided people into work groups with captains who are responsible. who bear some fiscal responsibility so that we don't simply say to the cfo which we don't have right now, that it's your responsibility. and i think the more we can distribute that responsibility and make people responsible, the more fiscally responsible they'll be. >> lastly, one of the problems president trump made to the american people was to direct this administration decrease regulation or to spur growth. regulations choke growth. since you assumed your current position, what steps have you and president trump take it on roll back harmful regulations in the housing industry? >> well, we have established a
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regulatory reform committee and they work through the office of the general council looking at major regulations. we have about 10 of them right now which we're looking to be able to get rid of on the way to quite a few momore than that. >> i yield my time. >> time of the gentlemen has expired. the chair new recognizes the gentleman from nevada, mr. kihuen. >> thank you, mr. chairman and mr. secretary for being here. and for sharing your testimony and also your time, as well. we know you're a very busy person and we appreciate taking the time to be here. >> thank you. >> mr. secretary, as you know, las vegas was the epicenter of the foreclosure crisis. my neighbors lost their home to foreclosure. i lost my home to foreclosure.
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the american dream of home ownership from all these families was ripped away. in the intervening years, las vegas has thankfully recovered. folks have slowed down. our economy has continued to grow at a healthy pace. we're adding tens of thousands of jobs a year. however, housing stock isn't being built at a proportional rate. we're starting to see both home sale and rental prices rising at an alarming rate. year over year, housing prices were up 13.67% from september, 2016, to september, 2017. the apartment vacancy rate is up with of lowest in the country at 3.1%. in clarke county as a whole, we need more than 157,000 affordable housing units but we only have 31,870 available. like other cities, low income
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people can't move further out into the suburbs when housing prices increase in the las vegas area. since the city is surrounded by desert. these residents are increasingly being forced to live in unan tenable situations or leave las vegas. mr. secretary, you have spoken before about the need for people to pull themselves up by their boot straps. however, there are situations like in las vegas where people have jobs, work hard had, but still can't get ahead in the housing market where rental prices are increasing faster than their paychecks. do you think there's a government role in helping these people with affordable housing? >> there is in the sense of creating the proper environment for the economy to grow. because a lot of the problems that we're having in that regard is because wages are stagnant. and they're not keeping up with the increasing cost of the
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housing. so that will be the solution to many of the issues that are going on in our country including some of the social issues because you know, people get more irritable when they're not doing, as well economically. >> another question in hud's fiscal year 201 budget proposal, the home program would be eliminated. instead on relying on local and state governments to fill the gap, however the city of las vegas relies on home to expand affordable housing options. what if local governments can't pick up the slack? is it your opinion that they're just out of luck? and the federal government shouldn't be assisting them? >> we certainly are looking for state and local governments to play a bigger role. there's no question about that. but in terms as i've said before
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of the good things that programs do including the home program, we're examining those things and looking at the best ways to be able to continue them. >> thank you, mr. secretary. last question, according to the executive director of the southern nevada housing authority your proposed fiscal year 2018 budget would make it very difficult for us to keep up with the maintenance of existing public housing units. mr. secretary, i just read a slew of statistics that clearly show me we're not going to needless public housing going forward but more. if our local experts are saying your budget is going to make it hard are for them to maintain what we have, how can we fulfill hud's mandate of helping american people put a roof over their heads? >> i hope that will be one of the ropes that i can count on congress to help lift the cap on rent. because that's how we get rid of
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those capo backlogs. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i yield back the remainder of my time. >> the chair recognizes the gentleman from maine, mr. pol quinn. >> thank you very much. mr. carson, appreciate you very much. good to see you again. >> thank you. >> dr. carson, i represent rural maine, not urban but rural maine. you folks might not be familiar with this but maine has the oldest average age in the country. it's not florida or arizona. it's maine. i worry about folks that live in the rural area. i worry about our seniors. and i worry about making sure we have a very strong safety net for those that are less fortunate than us. you know, even those i worry about our seniors, they're also great teachers. my mom is 89. my dad's 87. i love help to death. i'm very close to my parents in their life and in their stage in their life. but i remember when we were kids
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growing up in central maine, it was a vibrant area with lots of paper mills that were humming along and folks were happy and taking care of themselves. my parents were always working. that's what i remember. i'm sure similar to your situation in some regard, dr. carson. my dad was a teacher and a coach. he was always traveling. when he wasn't teaching, he was coaching or rather refereeing high school basketball around the state. it's an eight-hour drive from one part of my district to another. my mom was a nurse and worked a nightshift at nursing homes so she was home when my brother and i got back home from school. we grew up with compassion. during the summertime, they were working. dad had a lobster -- what my parents taught me more than anything is not what they said, what they showed me it, honesty, compassion and hard work. >> my first full-time job when i was 12 or 13 years old. i pumped gas at a marina, a little lake in maine.
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i worked 40 hours a week for a $20 bill. i was on my way. i remember the excitement and purpose i had getting up every morning and going to work. the next year i parlayed it into my next job working at a restaurant running the cash register for a buck an hour. now i get $20 working 40 hours a week. this is what i learned. now, what i have found is that there's so many people, mr. carson, that can look for the perfect job in retirement. you live long enough, you know there's no perfect job. >> right. >> the value of work is the journey. you learn string of every job. you find dignity and self-purpose. that's what your kids see anwar grandkids see. that's the value of hard work. now, i have one son who is 26. we are very close. he's a hard worker. i worry about sam all the time. i worry about his generation.
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i worry about him less because he knows the value of hard work. i can't even imagine, mr. carson, raising my son to say, okay, now you've had a good education. you know how to work. we want to make sure you sign up for every government program you can find. and i know you believe the same thing. my question to you, sir, is you believe in the dignity and the serve purpose of hard work. and what it shows the next generation. what are you good folks doing at hud to make sure that our families are upwardly mobile, our families can escape government dependence and have better lives and better futures more promise and more freedom? >> thank you for that question. one of the things we're doing, we develop this had concept called envision centers. it comes from the bible verse proverbs 29: 18 that says without a vision people perish. a lot of times when you go into low economic areas and you say to the kids what do you want to
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do when you grow up, you get a blank stare. sometimes you might get a few things, maybe five things. but there's a thousand things and envision centers expose them to other 995. and tell them how to get there. and also, to serve as a nidus forrership programs. it's been demonstrated by multiple studies that low income students who are mentored have a much higher high school graduation rate than those who do not. it also facilitates child care because so many of the young women get pregnant and their education ends at that point. we want them to get their high school diploma to be able to get their bachelor's degree, masters degree, become independent. more importantly, teach that to their children so we break the cycles of dependency ha have occurred. it's also going to be a nid dus for health care, for clinics, a
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whole host of things to really expose young people because a lot of them, they have not really been exposed to those things that are necessary in order to be successful in our society. >> thank you for what you do for our country. mr. carson. i yield back my time, sir. >> the time has expired. chair now recognizes the gentleman from texas, mr. green. >> i thank the witness for appearing, as well. mr. carson, mr. secretary, dr. carson, sir, you have indicated that there will be substantial cuts to the budget that hud has. can you give me that dollar amount? i'm showing it's about $6 billion. is that correct. >> that's about right. >> about 13% of the budget. >> yes. >> would these cuts come from public housing, housing vouchers, community development block grants and other aid to low income persons? >> they come from a variety of sources. >> how much from public housing, mr. carson?
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>> probably in the neighborhood of, if you combine all the programs, $2 billion to $3 billion. >> $2 billion to $3 billion. how much from housing vouchers, mr. carson? >> rather than go through a quiz on all the numbers -- >> it's not a quiz, mr. carson. i have the time to ask you questions about things you should have some knowledge of. if you have no knowledge of them, you can simply say so. i'll accept it as an answer. this is something that's within your bailiwick, my dear sir. how much from housing vouchers? >> again, you know, i can give you that number. but -- >> well, if you would give it to me, i would greatly appreciate it. i'd like to go on to community development block grants. >> here's my point. i agree with you that it's difficult to do these things. >> that has little to do with my question. you're answering a question i'm not asking, to be candid with
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you. will you kindly tell me how much hud is going to -- how much you're going to cut from the hud budget as it relates to housing vouch ers. if you don't know, it's okay 0 say you don't know, mr. carson. i don't hold you to things you don't know. >> let's just move on and say that i don't want to offer a number because it's subject to. >> why would the secretary of hud not give the number, the amount that you're cutting from housing vouchers, mr. carson, you're the secretary of hud. you're making the cut. >> because we've already talked about the total amount of the cuts. >> well, the total amount does not help me when it comes to the housing vouchers. i have people who use housing vouchers and i need to explain to them, mr. carson, how much the cut portends for them. how much, mr. carson? >> let's hear your number. >> well, mr. carson, fib me for coughing while speaking, but mr. carson, you're the witness
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testifying today. if you want a moment to ask someone behind you, i would gladly accord to you that moment. >> i don't want to open the book and look at the mub numbers. >> i see. >> so you choose not to say how much you're cutting from housing vouchers. how much are you cutting from community block grants, mr. carson. >> i want to talk about. >> you don't get to talk about what you want to today. you get to talk about what i want you to talk about. you get to answer questions that i pose. >> i also get to answer the question i want to. >> if you want to show a lack of knowledge, you can do this. it's quite all right. how much from community development block grants, mr. secretary? >> again, i'm not willing to sit there and. >> so you don't know how much from community development block grants? >> i'm not going to go through the list this much, this much. >> i'll move on. i accept your lack of knowledge. mr. carson, there seems to be a belief among the ranks of those
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who have opportunities to help others who have been blessed themselves. they seem to think that the rich need more, that the poor can do more with less but the rich will have to have more to do more. mr. carson, if poor people could do more with less, there would be no poor people. poor people are not poor because they choose to be. i november about your state of mind comment. but they're not poor because they choose to be poor. have you not noticed just for edification purposes and i'm sure that you're aware of it, but there may be people who are listening who are not -- black unemployment, mr. carson, is always with some exceptions about twice that of white unemployment. there are many reasons for this. but that fact has a lot to do
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with what people can do with money that they have and what they can't do with the money that they don't have. there are other factors involved in this country other than a state of mind. there is still, mr. carson, invidious discrimination in the united states of america while you may not suffer it, there are others who do. and they need to know what you plan to do and i regret that you're unable to tell us today. i yield back the balance of my time, mr. chairman. >> the positions that you ascribed to me are your opinion of what i think. they're not what i think. >> mr. chairman, if he chooses to respond and say this it, i'd then ask that i be allowed to let him know that my positions. >> the time of the gentleman has expired. >> articulated and did not. >> the chair now recognizes the gentleman from new york, mr. zeldin. >> thank you, mr. chairman. secretary carson, is there
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anything that you'd like to say using my time? >> oh. thank you very much. i appreciate that. you know, sometimes i get a little bit tired of people ascribing to me things that people have said that i believe. and i appreciate the opportunity to say this. when i say that poverty is largely a state of mind, what i am saying is that the way that people approach things has a lot to do with what happens to them. if your mind-set is one that i'm a victim and that everybody else is in control of my life and i just need to sit here and wait for them to do something for me, you're going to approach life very differently from somebody who says, i am going to take this issue into my own hands. that's one of the things that i learned from my mother. you know, she came from a very
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large rural family, got married when she was 13. later on discovered her husband was a bigamist. had only a third grade education, worked three jobs at a time. but the one thing about my mother, she was never a victim. and she never allowed us to be victims. and that was very important. and she did ha for other members of our family too who were in a very bad situation. and she convinced them that they didn't have to be therein an they came out of that situation. she was really quite an interesting person. now, i realize ha not everybody has a mother like mine. but i also recognize that we as a society would do much better if we stopped sitting around trying to tear each other apart and start saying what can we do to change the attitudes and to create different outcomes from people. there are those who allow themselves to be manipulated into just creating dissension
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rather than trying to figure out a way that we can actually solve the problems. isn't that what this whole government was supposed to be about? representatives who can help us solve the problems, not people who simply sit there and try to tear things down and try to create dissension and try to create victimhood? we don't need that. we can do much better than that. this is the united states of america. a place that rose from nowhere to the pinnacle of the world in record time. why? because we created an atmosphere of innovation. were there mistakes made, were there problems? absolutely. are we a perfect society? we are not because consist of human beings. that's why we need a savior. but we really can do much better than what we're doing if we stop fighting each other and start figuring out how we're going to
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solve these problems. thank you, mr. secretary for being here, for your service. you are someone who wants to lift people up and provide a more opportunity not to keep them struggling but to have all of the abilities all the tools necessary to be able to rise up out of that situation for a better life. i feel like our country is blessed to have you serving as our secretary of hud. it is a calling that hopefully will provide great opportunity for you to empower many americans desperate for your leadership to help them have that opportunity. >> thank you. >> i wanted to speak briefly about veteran homelessness on any given night with hud numbers 40,000 veterans in the united states are struggling with homelessness. any veteran who raises their hand willing to be our country should have a roof over their head. they should have shoes on their
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feet. they should have food on their table so the ultimate goal for that number will always be pursuing the permanent solution of zero. we know that voucher programs which give fletch be the to americans struggling from affordable housing has been shown to be more effective than the traditional housing project programs. i applaud your efforts to move more to a voucher model at hud for all housing programs. earlier, you noted that the agency is making progress but that the hud veterans affairs supportive housing program is in need of more flexibility to get the vouchers in the right hands and in the right place. additionally, you spoke about the expansion of public/private partnerships in increasing collaboration of your agency with local non-profits to assist in veteran housing. i stand eager to work with you. i'm sure many of my colleagues are, as well with the ultimate goal of getting to zero veteran
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housing hopelessness one day. i hank you again for your leadership. i yield back. >> thank you. >> the chair now recognizes the gentle lady from utah, ms. love. >> thank you secretary carson for being here today. i'd like to talk a little bit about the moving to work program which you know, is meant to give public housing authorities the flexibility to pursue innovative strategies to increase housing choices for low income families. and ultimately, to encourage economic self-sufficiency. this program now operating at only 39 of the approximate 3,200 housing authorities in the u.s. was authorized to expand to more -- to 100 more agencies more than two years ago through consolidated appropriations acts of 2016. your department both under your predecessor and now under your leadership has moved slowly and
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cautiously on this directive from congress to expan that. hud has missed some of its deadlines. from that viewpoint, some of our housing authorities looks like hud is trying to add more regulations to a program that was designed for deregulation. two of my home state housing authorities of salt lake city and salt lake county are desperately awaiting the chance to apply. they see it as a chance to redesign and streamline antiquated hud programs to meet local needs more directly and successfully. how can we help you advance the moving to work program so that local agencies can apply for it and hopefully gain that flexibility that they're seeking? >> well, you've already helped me by that question because i wasn't aware that that was going on that we were trying to increase the regulations rather than decrease them. that's the exactly opposite of what we should be doing. we'll look into that.
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>> can you tell us more generally about your assessment of the moving to work program? has it been successful in moving more people to economic self-sufficiency? as we know, and i think that we can all agree on both sides of the aisle, that we should not be in the business of giving people exactly what they need to stay exactly where they are. we should be giving people opportunities to be able to have their needs met and then be able to move out of there and be contributing members of society and help their communities. so can you tell me how successful this program has been in helping people move and be self-sufficient? >> yes. first of all, we discovered through this program that we have some incredibly innovative people. if we take the barriers out of their way and allow them because you know, they are able to see
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the community that they live in and see the opportunities that exist in their community. and therefore, they can design the program in order to take advantage of what exists where they are, not what exists in washington, d.c. and that's one of the reasons that the 39 programs had existed have done well enough that you know, the expansion was authorized. i think the expansion probably should be authorized far beyond another 100. >> okay. >> because it is working. and we're continuing to accumulate data but it all is pointing in the same direction. and that is, giving local control as long as you have you know, responsibility. we have to have a way that we measure what they're doing and make sure that you know, we're not having any type of inappropriate activity going on. but as long as we have that in
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place, this has clearly the way to go. >> i just have two things i want to bring up quickly in the minute that i have left. according to cbo, federal spending on programs to be low income families was approximately $744 billion in 2016. to take into account 80 program is throughout the 13 different federal agencies, and that doesn't include the states that are helping out. i'm trying to figure out how much goes to brick and mortars. one of the comments you had made and i think it was actually a good comment is that as a bureaucrat, you're going to be a fish out of water. i want you to be a fish out of water because it should be uncomfortable. you know, we shouldn't be sustaining bureaucrats. we should be sustaining people. and i want you to just keep conscious of the fact that these programs are meant to make sure
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that we make so that people can have an opportunity to get out of the system. we should be inentadvising good behavior and people who are wanting to gets up and most people, people that are there they do. they want to be masters of their own life. >> i agree. they want that. >> thank you for being here. >> time of the gentle lady has expired. the chair expects to clear one more member in the queue. chair new recognizes the gentleman from michigan, mr. trott. >> thank you, mr. chairman. secretary carson, thank you for being here today. and i represent michigan's 11th district which is oakland county and western wayne county. >> i'm familiar. >> we're proud of your detroit roots and i'm happy to report to you that detroit is making quite a comeback under mayor duggen. >> absolutely. >> i know you visited. >> i was very impressed. >> as am i. so i'm the last person. i'm going to end with a couple compliments. i've been in congress about
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three years and more often than not, the witnesses that appear before us do what we call the old political pivot and they get a question they don't like or they feel insulted by or is self-serving from the person asking the questions and they talk about something else. you've actually sat here all morning, i've been watching in my office and been here in the committee room. you've listened to your questions and done your best to answer our questions. i suspect it's because you're brighter than most of us and not intimidated by most of these questions. you've been one of the more productive witnesses i've seen during my tenure in congress. i want to compliment you on the president's choice and i think brian montgomery is going to be nominated as fha commissioner. he served with distinction towards the end of the bush administration. i think he'll be a great asset for you at hud. let's talk about the fha program. there's a great article from the
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housing wife from july of this year written by david stephens from the mba and it talks about the unprecedented use of the false claims act by hud and the department of justice starting around 2011 under president obama. false claims act is a very important federal statute promulgated under president lincolnton deal with profiteers who were supplying the union army and cheating the government, been used over the last several decades to deal with medicare fraud and defense contractors ripping taxpayers off. i'm all for the false claims act being used. with you familiar at all with how it's been used in the context of fha lending. >>ing. > very much so. >> i believe you and attorney general sessions could easily solve that problem and the consequence of the improper use of the false claims act to impose outrageous penalties against lenders for immaterial detects and loan origination files on fha lopes, the
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consequences are many lenders left the program and those that stayed in the program's most costly for the borrowers who can least afford it. do you have any plans to quickly address that problem? >> we are already addressing that problem. our staff along with the doj staff, and we're committed to getting that resolved because it's ridiculous, quite frankly. and i'm not exactly sure why there had been such an escalation previously. but the long-term effects that have escalation is obviously providing fewer appropriate choices for consumers. that's the opposite of what we should be doing. >> who can least afford it, too. that's good news on the way there. i know the mba has done a great white paper on the issue. i commend it to you in terms of seeking out an easy solution that could be put in place without congressional action. you know, i dealt with hud for many years in my prior life. i always found, it's been an
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interesting dichotomy today. you've been attacked for the budget issues that you proposed for hud and some people think that we have unlimited amounts of money here in washington. there's a debt clock behind you that tell you differently. but your answer has been a good one, which is i'm more interested in results than i am in funding. and we've got to get results for the people that need it and for our taxpayers. and in my experience with hud, you've talked about the reforms you're working on, the field offices need to be empowered. >> i groo he. >> it's kind of like tip o'neal's comment, all politics is local. the more the field offices can act and focus on results and department here in washington is focused on big picture, broad issues i think you get better results. i commend that to you, number one. and two, and i guess this is more of a lecture than a question.
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in my experience, it was very important that hud try and partner whenever possible and not create like under secretary cuomo, it was an adversarial relationship between the local and state housing agencies and hud. they should be partners to deliver results and again, the best results are delivered local and closer to home than here in washington. i commend that to you as you look at reforms and i believe my time has expired. i thank you for your time today and thank you for your testimony. one of the more productive mornings i've spent here in committee. >> thank you. >> i think last time i was on the judiciary committee last congress. attorney general lynch said i don't know, i can't help you 74 times. >> the time has expired. the chair now recognizes the ranking member for unanimous consent request. >> i would like to submit the national housing law project's opposition to the funding in hud. particularly the $3 billion in cdbg. >> without objection.
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>> lost and substance abuse. >> without objection. >> $9 million will be lost. >> i'd like to thank secretary carson for his testimony today. all members will have five legislative days to submit additional written questions for the witness to the chair forwarded to the witness for his response. i would ask secretary carson, you please respond as promptly as you are able. this hearing stands adjourned. >> thank you.
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>> coming up later today here on
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c-span3, the white house briefing with press secretary sarah sanders is set to start at 1:30 eastern. we'll have it live for you here on c-span3. after that, more from the white house this afternoon on c-span3, president trump will announce kirstjen nielsen as his new secretary of homeland security. she's currently deputy white house chief of staff. she was previous chief of staff to then homeland secretary john kelley. and when he became the president's chief of staff, she followed him to the white house and now will replace hip at homeland security. president trump's announcement of the nomination of the secretary of homeland security set for 2:30 eastern live here on c-span3. >> this weekend on "american history tv" on c-span3, saturday, at 6:00 p.m. eastern on the civil war. kelly mazurik author of "for their own cause on southern morale after black troops were
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assigned to guard confederate prisoners." >> one might assume that's why they those these black traps /* troops because most people believed they weren't brave enough to fight. >> middle tennessee state university professor ashley riley sue sa on native americans and trade in 19th country california. >> the indian men republican cowboys. and they are dressed they look like a mayor atchy band dressed nicely. that shows you the value that missionaries placed on the work these cowboys did that they were allowed first of all to ride horses which was generally forbidden to indians within the mission system and secondly to dress pretty nice. >> sunday at 7:00 p.m. on oral histories. we continue our series on photojournalists with david valdez, former director of the white house photo office under president george h.w. bush. >> if i say something about his
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hair and i take this photo and his hair looks nice, no one will ever believe that this wasn't set up. so i just took the photo and wound up running two full pages in life" magazine and over the next 20 years or so, it was in the best of "life" and classic moments in "life" and in 2011, it was selected in the issue one of the best photos in "life" magazine for the past 75 years. >> "american history tv." all weekend, every weekend only on c-span3. >> coming up next on c-span3, democratic legislators from around the country discuss ways to counter the trump administration by enacting progressive policies at the state and local level. this discussion is hosted by the state innovation exchange. >> good morning.