Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Dr. Ben Carson has stated his intention to exit his post at the conclusion of President Donald J. Trump’s current presidential term.
Carson made the announcement Monday night during an appearance on Newsmax TV, a conservative media outlet, according to the Washington Post. In the interview, Carson talked about his eventual return to the private sector once Trump’s current term in office concludes.
“I will certainly finish out this term,” Carson said. “I would be interested in returning to the private sector because I think you have just as much influence, maybe more, there.”
In his position as HUD secretary, Carson has publicly stated his support for the reverse mortgage program as a necessary tool to provide seniors with more options to age in place. He supported an initiative of sweeping rule changes to the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) program in October 2017, saying they would stop the “bleeding” from the Mutual Mortgage Insurance (MMI) Fund.
Carson later emphasized his support for the rule changes to resolve issues with the HECM program, which he supported while criticizing the program’s framework.
“The people who put the program together had very good intentions, but they didn’t put it together very well, so we inherited a mess,” he said in late March 2018.
Weeks after the conclusion to the 2016 presidential campaign in late November 2016, the then-recently elected Trump first floated Carson’s name as a possible nominee for secretary of HUD. He was ultimately nominated and confirmed by the U.S. Senate the following March, which drew general praise from the reverse and traditional mortgage industries. In his first address as the newly-confirmed HUD secretary, Carson alluded to a “hands-off” philosophy to guide his leadership at the department.
A further look into Carson’s and the Trump Administration’s handling of housing issues was gleaned in their first draft budget proposal for the agency, which contained deep cuts. Carson also publicly flirted with the idea of changing the department’s name, but that ultimately never materialized.
Rumors persisted in mid-2018 that Carson’s position at HUD was in jeopardy, but this was repudiated by Carson who related an encounter with the president, who reportedly expressed a hope for Carson to stay on into a potential second term. This while other investigative reports indicated low morale at the department under Carson’s leadership, stemming from a bizarre controversy surrounding the purchase of a $31,000 dining room set for Carson’s office.
More recently, Carson decried the government gridlock that resulted in the longest partial shutdown of the federal government in American history, just as the shutdown was being resolved.