HUD Secretary Castro Chats Housing on Late Show with Stephen Colbert

Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Julián Castro appeared as a special guest on Monday’s airing of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, where he discussed HUD’s role in the housing market recovery, vice president nomination rumors, and his latino heritage.

Although the topic of reverse mortgages did not find their way into Secretary Castro’s brief appearance on CBS’s The Late Show, Colbert, referring to the desires of republican presidential candidates to get rid of HUD, posed an initial question asking what would the U.S. miss if HUD were to disappear tomorrow?

In response, Castro provided and anecdote of a homeless veteran in San Diego, who has since purchased and currently rents out apartments to other vets who are homeless.

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“Between 2010 and 2015, we saw veteran homelessness decline by 36% largely because of HUD funding to local communities, like San Diego,” Castro said.

Colbert then referred to the recent film The Big Short (2015), which depicts the collapse of the credit and housing bubble in the mid-2000s, asking Secretary Castro if HUD was involved with all of the homes that were foreclosed on during the market bust.

“We were involved with trying to get homeowners to be able to stay in their homes,” Castro said. “In fact, one of the success stories of the [Obama] Administration is that over the last few years—through HUD’s work and through the Treasury’s work—we were able to ensure that more than a million folks kept their homes, either through modifications or refinancing.”

Castro also talked about HUD’s investment in the Neighborhood Stabilization Program that helped revitalize neighborhoods across the U.S. that have suffered from foreclosures. Through the program, HUD purchases and redevelops foreclosed and abandoned homes and residential properties.

“There are a lot of folks out there—whether they’re in Florida or Nevada—throughout the country that are in their homes because of the assistance that they got,” Castro said.

Colbert also discussed rumors that Castro is in “Vice President training camp,” referring to comments made by presidential candidate Hillary Clinton on who she might consider for vice president, pending the outcome of her presidential run.

In an effort to coax the truth out of Castro, Colbert asked him to rate the likelihood that Clinton actually approached him, on a scale of “1-to-Stephen that’s flattering, but I have to concentrate on the job I’m doing right now.”

“Stephen, that’s flattering but I have to concentrate on the job I’m doing right now,” Castro said, assuring that Clinton had never asked him.

View the full episode of Monday’s The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, which also featured actress/comedian Jane Lynch, and musical guest EL VY covering the late David Bowie’s hit “Let’s Dance.” Castro appears at the 29-minute mark in the video above.

Written by Jason Oliva

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  • It was a fun, Stephen Colbert chat with the Secretary that did not bring up HECMs or anything directly or significantly indirectly related to them.

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