House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said Carson was a “disconcerting and disturbingly unqualified choice.” And New York Sen. Charles Schumer also questioned Carson’s qualifications, citing the retired neurosurgeon’s “lack of expertise and experience in dealing with housing issues.”
“Someone who is as anti-government as him is a strange fit for housing secretary, to say the least,” Schumer said.
Industry leaders, meanwhile, were more hopeful about Carson’s appointment.
Mortgage Bankers Association President and CEO David H. Stevens wished Carson success while expressing the hope that the retired neurosurgeon would assemble an experienced panel of advisors.
“On behalf of the MBA I want to congratulate Dr. Ben Carson on being chosen to be nominated as the Secretary of HUD. Housing is one of the largest contributors to the health and success of the overall economy, and as such we must continue to recognize its significance,” Stevens said. “MBA looks forward to working with Dr. Carson in helping to build out a well-rounded team of housing experts, with a deep technical understanding of the issues, at HUD, FHA
and Ginnie Mae. MBA wishes Dr. Carson and the rest of the administration success as they get ready to embark upon these next four years.”
Ed Brady, chairman of the National Association of Homebuilders, also congratulated Carson.
“(Carson) is a thoughtful leader who is sure to assemble a professional team of policy experts and be a great spokesman for housing,” Brady said.
National Association of Realtors President William E. Brown was supportive of Carson while acknowledging he has a “big job ahead.”
“While we’ve made great strides in recent years, far more can be done to put the dream of homeownership in reach for more Americans,” Brown said. “The National Association of Realtors and its 1.2 million members look forward to working with Dr. Carson to fulfill this important mission.”
The news of Dr. Ben Carson’s nomination as secretary of Housing and Urban Development to the incoming Trump administration has drawn mixed reactions. Democratic lawmakers harshly criticized the choice, while mortgage and housing leaders offered congratulations – though some acknowledged his lack of housing policy experience.