Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson laid out future plans that would benefit graduates and low-income citizens. During a Q and A with Jolie Ballantyne, Esq., director of conferences, at the National Conservative Student Conference hosted by Young America's Foundation Friday, he said the department is “taking a holistic view” of the department’s problems, instead of just patching it up.
The department is exploring ways to help graduates manage student debt and afford housing, Carson said millenials are now facing problems with homeownership, graduating with a terrible debt to income ratio. Carson said that paying back subsidized educational loans has risen to 5 to 9 percent compounded, and it’s like paying a mortgage on a house. The department is "looking for ways to change that dynamic."
The department is “looking at ways of rolling the student debt into the mortgage all in one low interest package.”
To give opportunities of affordable homeownership, Carson said they are creating a circumstance to buy a condominium with an “FHA banking.”
Carson explained that while homeownership is a “vital part of success” that allows for American families to gain wealth, earlier department members misguidedly gave homes to people who couldn’t afford them, meaning they lost the home, credit and future opportunities.
Carson highlighted a goal of the department, saying they “need to create ladders of opportunity.”
Vision Centers are being established in low-income areas, providing mentorship programs, childcare, and basic instruction, Carson said. The centers provide advantages that stable families provide, and children from disadvantaged homes miss out on.
Carson also spoke about the well-intentioned failures of the welfare system that kept people in a dependent state, instead of motivated to realize their full potential. The changes of the Department of Housing and Urban Development since Lyndon B. Johnson’s day would surprise people who ran it then. Dr. Carson said that those who ran the department, to "their chagrin", would find people remain in housing for generations.
He said "is that really compassion, or is it real compassion trying to develop people to their fullest extent?"
“It’s not about just putting people under a roof, its about getting people to develop their God-given talent,” Carson said. “And I hope 52 years from now, it will be fully realized, that the definition of success in housing is not how many people we can put in public housing, but how many people we can get out of it.”
He told the 460 students that as secretary, he has learned from people who have gone before, and has read volumes from previous members who are thought to be "horrible" people "They're not horrible people."
"Evaluate people on the basis of who they are, and be willing to work with everybody," he told the young conservatives. "You’ll go a lot further a lot faster."