To understand what lies ahead for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and its new secretary, Ben Carson, it’s useful to examine HUD’s legacy as well as Carson’s backstory.
HUD was formed under President Lyndon Johnson with a mission of building inclusive communities while ensuring affordable housing for all. This started with the Fair Housing Act (also known as Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968), which prohibited discrimination in housing on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. The agency has earlier roots in the U.S. Housing Authority, which was created by the Housing Act of 1937 as a part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal. This legislation was aimed at providing safe and sanitary dwellings for low-income families by establishing subsidies for local agencies.