Ben Carson was sworn in as secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) on Friday, assuming leadership of an agency with over 8,000 employees and a $47 billion budget. Carson was confirmed by the Senate in a party-line vote on Thursday.
“I am immensely grateful and deeply humbled to take on such an important role in service to the American people,” said Secretary Carson, a retired neurosurgeon. “Working directly with patients and their families for many years taught me that there is a deep relationship between health and housing. I learned that it’s difficult for a child to realize their dreams if he or she doesn’t have a proper place to live, and I’ve seen firsthand how poor housing conditions can rob a person of their potential. I am excited to roll up my sleeves and to get to work.”
Carson shared similar sentiments during a confirmation hearing in January, in which he pointed to his experience with “housing insecurity.”
Carson will begin his work as secretary by embarking on a “listening tour”—starting in his hometown, Detroit—of certain communities and HUD field offices.
Carson, the 17th secretary, was sworn in by Vice President Mike Pence. Carson’s wife, Candy, and granddaughter Tesora were in attendance.
President Trump announced Carson’s nomination in November.
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