Mel Martinez

Ben Carson at confirmation hearing: Too many people live in public housing, and I want to help

Ben Carson at confirmation hearing: Too many people live in public housing, and I want to help

During his failed presidential run, Ben Carson won over conservatives with his scorn for government social programs that he said were good mostly for keeping people mired in poverty.

But at a hearing Thursday to confirm him as President-elect Donald Trump’s choice to the head of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Carson gave a more nuanced picture of how he would lead the $47-billion agency, whose core mission is to provide housing for poor people.

He said he wanted to get businesses and faith groups more involved in helping people in HUD-backed housing, and find ways to enlarge the role of private industry in backing home mortgages.

“I...

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