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Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson said Thursday that President Biden owned the burgeoning homelessness crisis in America’s cities.
Carson, who led the Trump administration’s housing and poverty initiatives, told Fox News Digital the White House’s spending and regulatory policies had exacerbated the problem.
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“These things are caused by excessive regulation,” Carson said during an interview at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Texas. “This administration has brought so much regulation into the system, and nobody’s really talking about it and doing anything about it.
Carson said the Biden administration’s regulatory regime, coupled with coronavirus stimulus bills, had driven up the cost of living. Meantime, inflation reached a 40-year high that has made affordable housing difficult for lower-income Americans.
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The former housing secretary said that the Biden administration should take a page from the Trump White House when it came to the topic.
“In the previous administration, just at HUD alone, we decreased the number of regulatory obstacles by over 2,000,” said Carson. “You multiply that across the many agencies, and that was really the reason that the economy perked up and did well.”
Carson said that even if Biden opted not to slash red tape, his administration could still empower faith groups and charities to step in and boost services for the homeless.
“The difference is people develop relationships with the church [and other organizations]. They don’t develop relationships with the government,” said Carson.
The homelessness crisis issue has increasingly been prevalent in America’s urban centers, which have seen tent encampments pop up in once vibrant neighborhoods. Local city councils have responded disparately to the problem.
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Some, like the city of Los Angeles, have moved to ban homeless encampments near schools. Others, like New York City, have begun clearing out tent cities.
The White House, meanwhile, has named a homelessness czar to help mobilize the federal agencies to address the crisis.