Showing posts with label HUD. Show all posts
Showing posts with label HUD. Show all posts

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Secretary Fudge Outlines HUD Actions to Address Reentry Housing Needs and Increase Public Safety

WASHINGTON - U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Marcia L. Fudge today outlined actions that the Department is taking to improve public safety by addressing the housing needs of returning citizens, including through the recently awarded 70,000 emergency housing vouchers funded by the American Rescue Plan.

In a letter sent to public housing authorities, Continuums of Care, multifamily owners, and HUD grantees, Secretary Fudge clarified that returning citizens who are at-risk of homelessness are among the eligible populations for these emergency housing vouchers and encouraged public housing authorities and their Continuum of Care partners to ensure that eligible returning citizens are given consideration for these vouchers. Secretary Fudge also discussed additional steps that HUD is taking to improve access to housing for returning citizens and people with criminal records.

Secretary Fudge’s letter is tied to the Biden-Harris Administration’s new comprehensive strategy to increase public safety.

“The President and I believe that everyone deserves a second chance and a stable home from which to rebuild their lives. No person should exit a prison or jail only to wind up on the streets,” wrote Secretary Fudge. “To that end, HUD is committed to taking a comprehensive approach to addressing the housing needs of returning citizens and people with criminal records, and by doing so, increasing public safety within our communities. Addressing reentry housing needs also furthers the Biden Administration’s commitment to advancing equity and reversing systemic racism, given the racial disparities evident in the criminal justice system.”

The full text of the letter is below. A pdf copy is available here.

June 23, 2021

Dear Public Housing Authorities, Continuums of Care, Multifamily Owners, and HUD Grantees,

Among my priorities at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is to ensure the public safety of the households, the properties, and the communities that we assist. One of the most important ways that HUD can meet this priority is to ensure that people leaving prisons and jails are supported in their reentry to the community. Research also shows that people who lack stable housing following incarceration face a higher likelihood of rearrest and reincarceration. On the other hand, a stable home can serve as the foundation upon which returning citizens can rebuild their lives, obtain employment, improve their health, and achieve recovery.

Unfortunately, too many people exit prisons and jails in America without a stable home to return to. A significant number of people experiencing homelessness are caught in a revolving door between homelessness and reincarceration. In some communities, the lack of stable housing can also delay a person’s approval for discretionary release from prison, leading people to serve more time behind bars than those with stable housing. Many people face housing denials based on their criminal records years or decades after serving their time, even when their criminal history does not indicate that they present a substantial risk to persons or property.

The President and I believe that everyone deserves a second chance and a stable home from which to rebuild their lives. No person should exit a prison or jail only to wind up on the streets.

To that end, HUD is committed to taking a comprehensive approach to addressing the housing needs of returning citizens and people with criminal records, and by doing so, increasing public safety within our communities. Addressing reentry housing needs also furthers the Biden Administration’s commitment to advancing equity and reversing systemic racism, given the racial disparities evident in the criminal justice system.

The American Rescue Plan provides us with a near-term opportunity to assist people exiting prisons or jails, namely through the nearly 70,000 emergency housing vouchers recently awarded to more than 600 public housing authorities (PHAs) across the country. HUD Notice PIH 2021-15 makes clear that people exiting prisons and jails who are at-risk of homelessness due to their low incomes and lack of sufficient resources or social supports are eligible for these vouchers. Given the significant overlap between recent incarceration history and homelessness, HUD strongly encourages PHAs to work with their Continuum of Care (CoC) partners to ensure that individuals who are at-risk of homelessness after leaving prisons or jails are considered for these vouchers. In the coming weeks, HUD will provide further tools to help communities assess the homelessness risk of people exiting prisons and jails and to create and strengthen referral partnerships between PHAs, CoCs, and corrections agencies for these vouchers.

In addition to leveraging this opportunity through the American Rescue Plan, HUD is taking additional steps to meet the housing needs of returning citizens and to reduce barriers to housing among people with criminal records. This includes:

  • Developing additional tools and guidance to assist private landlords, PHAs, and Multifamily housing owners to ensure that their applicant screening and tenant selection practices avoid unnecessarily overbroad denial of housing to applicants on the basis of criminal records that could lead to Fair Housing violations, consistent with the 2016 memo on disparate impact and criminal records;
  • Reviewing existing HUD policies and regulations that limit access to housing and HUD assistance among people with criminal conviction histories; and
  • Publishing findings regarding best and promising practices on reentry housing, including through HUD’s existing programs and demonstrations like the Juvenile Reentry Assistance Program and the Pay for Success Permanent Supportive Housing Demonstration.

As we take these and other steps to meet the housing needs of returning citizens, I will continue to work closely with the many organizations and entities that help to administer HUD’s programs at the state and local level. By working together, I am confident that we can make significant progress in meeting the housing needs of returning citizens, increase their chances of success, and increase public safety within our communities. I thank you for your partnership in these and other efforts.


Marcia L. Fudge

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Maxine Waters Statement on HUD’s Move to Weaken Protections Against Housing Discrimination

Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee, issued the following statement condemning the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) proposal to weaken a key aspect of the Fair Housing Act, the disparate impact standard, under which defendants can be held liable for policies or practices that have a discriminatory impact without proof of malicious intent.

“For too long, the federal government played a heavy hand in the institutionalization of overt racism and systemic inequality in our housing market through redlining practices, residential segregation, and lax industry regulation. While great strides have been made since the passage of the Fair Housing Act in 1968, housing discrimination continues to exist, and we must remain diligent in the face of artificial intelligence, algorithms, and other innovations in our housing market that can perpetuate discriminatory outcomes.

“Since January 2019, the Committee on Financial Services has held a variety of hearings that have demonstrated that housing discrimination remains persistent and threatens our economic prosperity as a country.

“Rather than taking these fair housing concerns seriously, Secretary Carson has proposed a rule that represents yet another egregious step by this Administration toward the dismantling of key civil rights protections in America. The proposed rule would make it substantially more difficult for victims of housing discrimination, including persons with disabilities, families with children, and racial minorities, to prove their case in a court of law and thereby hold bad actors accountable for their actions.”

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Ben Carson throws his wife under the bus over $31,000 dining room set

While testifying before the House Appropriations Committee about the infamous $31,000 dining room set, Secretary of HUD Ben Carson stayed awake long enough to blame the entire fiasco on his wife. Wow, I wonder what he would blame her for if he didn't love her? George L. Cook III African American Reports.

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson pointed to his wife when pressed about the purchase of a $31,000 dining set with taxpayer money, despite internal HUD emails claiming he also had a part in selecting the furniture. Carson, testifying before the House Appropriations Committee, said he left decisions with his wife, Candy Carson, and was shocked to hear how much it cost.

The purchase of an elaborate furniture set has cast Carson in an unwelcome spotlight in recent weeks. A spokesman for HUD initially said Carson had nothing to do with the purchase of the furniture, despite emails obtained by the nonprofit watchdog American Oversight claiming Carson and his wife made the selection.

"I asked my wife also to help me with that, they showed us some catalogues, the prices were beyond what I wanted to pay, I made it clear that that just didn't seem right to me, and I left it with my wife," Carson said of the furniture selections. "I said, 'Help choose something,' but I said the money that is going to be used -- 'we need to take care of the deputy secretary's office, and you know whatever is left over I'll take care of the dining room furniture.' It was very important to do that, and I realize that, but I had some many other things to do at that point. You know, I had no assistant secretary, no deputy secretary. I was running from place to place dealing with a lot of important issues, so I really wasn't that concerned about furniture. The next thing that I quite frankly heard about it, was this $31,000 thousand dollar table had been bought. I said, 'What the heck is that all about?'"

HUD has canceled the order.

This isn't the first time Carson's wife has been blamed in relation to this matter. An Aug. 29, 2017 email from HUD chief of staff Sheila Greenwood to HUD administrative officer Aida Rodriguez and executive assistant to the secretary Allison Mills reads, "I believe Allison has print outs of the furniture the secretary and Mrs. Carson picked."

But when CBS News asked HUD spokesman Raffi Williams about the claims of Carson's involvement, he simply said, "When presented with options by professional staff, Mrs. Carson participated in the selection of specific styles."

The internal HUD emails show finding new furniture for Carson was a high priority at HUD, for at least six months. The emails also reveal HUD staffers were pressured to find a workaround for the $5,000 legal limit for federal executives to redecorate their offices.


Friday, March 09, 2018


BALTIMORE (March 8, 2018) – The NAACP is deeply concerned by Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson’s move to dilute the agency’s long-standing mission.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development Act which established HUD as a cabinet-level agency declared a purpose: “[T]o provide for full and appropriate consideration, at the national level, of the needs and interests of the Nation’s communities and of the people who live and work in them.” This purpose is sustained through the agency’s mission to “build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination.” Secretary Carson’s action not only threatens HUD’s founding purpose but also reveals plans of regression.

“Dr. Carson’s attempt to diminish HUD’s mission comes on the heels of the 50th anniversary of the Kerner Commission’s report which affirmed that discrimination and segregation had long permeated much of American Life and continues to threaten the future of every American; and at a time when the Trump administration seeks to cut billions of dollars in housing aid for low-income families,” said NAACP’s Sr. Director of Economic Programs, Marvin J. Owens, Jr.

Despite these attempts, the promise of discrimination-free practices lives on in the Fair Housing Act which has the central objective of prohibiting race discrimination in sales and rentals of housing. The hope of continued progress in America rests in the hands of communities across the country that continue to push their elected leaders to preserve programs designed to help disadvantaged communities and promote policies that make economic inclusion a reality.

The NAACP recognizes the importance of an inclusive economy and economic policies that address the challenging realities facing our country including poverty, lack of jobs and disproportionate high unemployment, lack of affordable housing, and foreclosures. The NAACP Economic Department’s work enhances the capacity of African Americans and other under-served groups through financial economic education; individual and community asset building initiatives; diversity and inclusion in business hiring, career advancement and procurement; and monitoring financial banking practices.

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Maxine Waters: Ben Carson 'doesn't care about people in public housing'

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) ripped into Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson in a speech Saturday at the Essence Music Festival, saying Carson “doesn’t care about people in public housing.”

“[Carson] knows nothing about the mission of HUD,” Waters said in a speech at the Essence Festival in New Orleans. “He doesn’t care about people in public housing. He believes that if you are poor, it is your own fault. And he doesn’t know the difference between an immigrant and a slave.”

Waters also warned Carson that she would tough on him when he testifies before the House Committee on Financial Services, on which she is the ranking member.

“[If he] things that I am going to give him a pass, I am going to take his ass apart,” Waters said.


Thursday, March 02, 2017

Ben Carson sworn in as HUD Secretary

Dr. Ben S. Carson, Sr. was sworn in today as the 17th Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Vice President Mike Pence administered the oath of office with Secretary Carson's wife Candy and granddaughter Tesora holding the bible. Secretary Carson will now lead a cabinet agency with approximately 8,000 employees and an annual budget totaling more than $40 billion.

Among his first actions in his new role, Secretary Carson plans an ambitious listening tour of select communities and HUD field offices around the country, beginning in his native Detroit.

"I am immensely grateful and deeply humbled to take on such an important role in service to the American people," said Secretary Carson. "Working directly with patients and their families for many years taught me that there is a deep relationship between health and housing. I learned that it's difficult for a child to realize their dreams if he or she doesn't have a proper place to live, and I've seen firsthand how poor housing conditions can rob a person of their potential. I am excited to roll up my sleeves and to get to work."

For nearly 30 years, Secretary Carson served as Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at the Johns Hopkins Children's Center, a position he assumed when he was just 33 years old, making him the youngest major division director in the hospital's history. Dr. Carson received dozens of honors and awards in recognition of his achievements including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor. He is also a recipient of the Spingarn Medal, which is the highest honor bestowed by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

Dr. Carson has written nine books, four of which were co-authored with Candy Carson, his wife of 41 years. Together, they co-founded the Carson Scholars Fund, which celebrates young people of all backgrounds for exceptional academic and humanitarian accomplishments. The Fund has recognized more than 7,300 scholars, awarded more than seven million dollars in scholarships, and installed more than 150 Ben Carson Reading Rooms throughout the United States.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

No mentions of civil rights, voting rights, or education on updated Trump White House site.

By George L. Cook III African American Reports

Donald Trump has made many statements about what he would do for African Americans if elected. He said that he would do such an excellent job of making the lives of African Americans better that in four years they would vote for him in record numbers. He even staged a dog, and pony shows with the likes of Ray Lewis, Steve Harvey, and Martin Luther King III to show how much he cared them. He promised many things, but the updated White House website reflects none of that.

There are no mentions of civil rights, voting rights, housing, or education under the issues tab. This is what comes up today on 01/22/2017:

Not that some of those issues are not important to the country as a whole, but it's very telling that the civil rights tab that used to be there has been moved. That shows that this issue is not important to Trump and that he has and only will pay lip service to it.

When it comes to housing not being mentioned Trump's appointment of Ben Carson as leader of HUD lets us know all that we need to know about how important Trump feels this issue is.

Also an ominous sign for African Americans is where Trump promises to stand up for our law enforcement community. What does he mean by that? He has already nominated a man to be U.S. Attorney General who is no fan federal investigations in police forces across the nation. He has also spoken in favor of the "policing" policy known as stop & frisk which catches very few criminals and only works to even further alienate the police from the community. Will Trump support bad cops such as Micheal Slager who shot an unarmed man to death as he ran away from him?

The updated site also does not mention of education at all which should be a major issue to all regardless of race. That's not on the site because then Trump would have to show the cuts he plans to make to education that would overwhelmingly affect black and brown students as well as hurt black colleges like Talladega College that marched in Trump's inaugural parade.

As for voting rights I didn't expect anything to be there because if many of these bogus voting laws had been struck down, you can make an argument that Trump would not be president. Why allow people to vote who would not enable you to remain in power four years from now?

Steve Harvey and Armstrong Williams have asked black people to wait and see what Trump does. Well if the updated website is any indication he is not going to do much.

By George L. Cook III African American Reports

Friday, January 13, 2017

Trump is using Steve Harvey to legitimize Ben Carson in the black community.

By George L. Cook III African American Reports

In a move that surprised many Steve Harvey has met with Donald Trump to discuss issues in the black community. I believe Trump plans to use Steve Harvey to legitimize Ben Carson in the black community. Harvey may believe he is doing the right thing and may mean well but is misguided on this one. Well I hope that's the case and he hasn't sold out. Listen to more of my thoughts below.

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Saying Ben Carson is not qualified to lead HUD is not racist.

By now you know that Ben Carson has been picked by Donald Trump to run HUD. While Carson is a great neurosurgeon and a smart man he is in no way qualified to run HUD. Now some conservatives have starting calling the criticism of Carson's selection racist. How is that racist? I have no idea and neither do those spouting that nonsense. Listen to more below.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

So, Ben Carson may serve in a Trump administration after all?

George L. Cook III AfricanAmericanReports.Com

What is up with Dr. Ben Carson? Just a week after leading many of us to believe that he may have a little common sense to go along with his book sense by saying that he wouldn't serve in a Trump administration because he didn't have the experience of leading a federal agency he seems to have put himself back in the running again for a spot in a Trump administration.

What's odd is that when a position as leader of Health and Human Services was discussed (you know something right in Carson's wheelhouse) was when Carson fretted about his lack of experience. But now when Trump offers him a position leading HUD (Housing and Urban Development) he seems to be willing to consider that.

Now if you are like me you are wondering what qualifications Dr. Carson has to be head of HUD. Well thankfully for us Carson has an answer. When being interviewed by Fox New's Cavuto Carson made the following statement:

"I know that I grew up in the inner city," Carson said. "And have spent a lot of time there. And have dealt with a lot of patients from that area. And recognize that we cannot have a strong nation if we have weak inner cities. And we have to get beyond the promises and start really doing something."

So if having lived in the inner city is a top qualification that would mean that there are millions of eligible candidates for the top spot at HUD. Yes I'm being sarcastic, but I would hope any leader of any government agency would have some experience doing what that agency does, particularly at federal level.

Carson says that he will have an answer for Trump after the Thanksgiving holiday. I wonder what would make Carson change his mind on serving. It could be that he is a true patriot and has decided that if the president asks you to serve that you have to do your civic duty and serve. More likely the reason has to do with BET founder Robert Johnson's visit with Donald Trump over the weekend. Carson realized that there was a chance that he would no longer be Trump's "African American" especially with Johnson possibly in a Trump administration and himself on the sidelines.

Obviously to Carson the appeal of being a magical negro outweighs any and all common sense.

George L. Cook III AfricanAmericanReports.Com