HUD Secretary Ben Carson Blames NYC Homelessness on Technology Regulations

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson blamed rampant U.S. homelessness on "stacks and stacks of regulations" on technology for modular and tiny homes.

Speaking on Fox & Friends Tuesday morning, Carson and New York and New Jersey Regional HUD administrator Lynne Patton detailed their annual homeless assessment report. Fox News host Ainsley Earhardt introduced the segment by saying, "homelessness in liberal cities continues to spiral out of control" before the two HUD administrators said 78,000 New Yorkers live on the streets. Carson said Americans should be asking why homelessness is a large problem in such a "sophisticated society," before pointing to regulations against more technological affordable housing as one root cause.

Carson and Patton joined New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio Monday night as they walked the streets and interviewed homeless individuals about the reasons behind their circumstances. Carson called for fewer restrictions in cities against tiny homes and modular homes, dwellings that are cheaper to construct and are far less costly to maintain in terms of energy.

"The key thing we do is we ask ourselves, why is this a problem in our country?" asked the President Donald Trump-appointed HUD secretary. "You look at Japan, look at Tokyo, they have virtually no homelessness there. And what is the difference they don't have stacks and stacks of regulations that keep you from being able to use technology. We have some very innovative people in our country who've come up with modular homes, tremendous advances in manufactured housing, tiny homes, there is a whole host of things that could be used."

Patton said that of the 78,000 New Yorkers on the streets, about 20,000 are children, and more than 3,600 people are sleeping outside on any given night of the year. Carson noted that young people's incomes aren't high enough to live comfortably in cities like New York before touting the "exploding" economy.

"Think of yourself as a millennial or a young person, maybe coming out college and getting your first job for $50,000 a year - you can't afford anything here, forget about it. But if you had those other alternatives, you'd be able to get into it, build some equity step-wise and move to something else that's one of the things we have to do," Carson continued.

The Republican HUD secretary and former neurosurgeon said additional government programs are not the answer to the homelessness problem.

"It's not just a matter of throwing more and more money at this, more vouchers and services at this; it's about getting people out of the system," he said. "Giving them the tools so they can function in a more sophisticated society that we have now. Before, all you needed was a strong back and a willingness to work, now that's not going to necessarily get it for you."

"This is the perfect time to do it because this economy is exploding, they say 'repair the roof while the sun is shining and not when it's raining,'" Carson concluded.

Earhardt said the scenes of homelessness "pulls at your heartstrings" before echoing Carson's praise of the Trump economy.

"Yes, there's a lot of jobs available now for these individuals, and if we can kill some of these regulations, we can build housing for these individuals, but the more regulations the more expensive it is you were telling me," she said.

The president has addressed the homelessness crisis across the country by engaging in public spats with California and New York governors Gavin Newsom and Andrew Cuomo, respectively. Last month, Trump said the two states should call him and ask "politely" for federal funding to help stem their problems.

ben carson lynne patton homelessness
Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson blamed rampant U.S. homelessness on "stacks and stacks of regulations" on technology for modular and tiny homes. Screenshot: Twitter | Fox News
HUD Secretary Ben Carson Blames NYC Homelessness on Technology Regulations | U.S.