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tv   HUD Secretary Dr. Ben Carson Addresses Housing Conference  CSPAN  April 4, 2017 2:36am-3:18am EDT

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tool to hinder our operations. at the american israel public affairs committee policy conference. >> the state of israel is a modern-day david and goliath is the arsenal of hundreds of thousands of rockets and missiles aimed at the jewish state by terror groups like hezbollah and hamas. this time, israel has a major upgrade that will help you take amen.he next giant, the david sling missile defense system which was codeveloped by israel and the american defense contractor, raytheon. >> c-span programs are available at c-span.org, on our homepage and searching the video library. >> next, housing and urban ben carson secretary talks about low income housing
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programs. he was asked about potential budget cuts. he spoke at the national low income housing coalition conference. >> ok, good afternoon. welcome back to our afternoon session. i see everybody has got in, so perfect. we appreciate your being here and we appreciate dr. ben carson
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being here handed is my pleasure to have the opportunity to introduce him and to welcome him to our in your policy form. i expect he needs no introduction but i will give him a brief one. dr. ben carson is the 17th secretary of the u.s. department of housing and urban development. for nearly there to years, secretary carson served as director of the engine numerous -- director of pediatric neurosurgery at johns hopkins. at the age of 33, he was the youngest person to ever serve in that position. he has received dozens of honors and awards in recognition of his achievements, including the presidential medal of freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor and he is also a recipient of a medal that is the highest honor bestowed by the national association for the advancement of colored people or naacp. he has written nine books. he and his wife cofounded the carson scholars fund which recognizes young people of all backgrounds for their exceptional academic accomplishments. the fund is currently operating in 50 states and d.c. and has recognized scholars and awarded scholarships and it has installed more than 150 ben carson reading rooms around the country. we are really pleased to have dr. carson here to talk with us
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a bit about his vision for affordable housing programs in this country. please join me in welcoming dr. -- dr. carson. [applause] dr. carson: i am delighted to be here. i would like to thank diane, who i have known about. i know sometimes when you support a republican, it costs you. the way i look at it, i have to be something. i don't think too much about labels but it is so important, the mission we have to deal with here. you know, as a physician, you know, i operated on 15,000
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patients and when i was campaigning one of the real joys was seeing so many of my patients everyplace i went. and, it is really all about helping people. when you can see the long-term effects. like, i was in kentucky and a family came up to me and there was a young man with them and he says, do you recognize this young man? and i said, he looks familiar. because i said that about everybody. they said, you will operated on him when he was one-year-old and you did an operation to take out half of his brain. and he just finished college number one in his class. [applause] dr. carson: and i said, well that was wonderful. i remember as a physician also there were so many patients who were homeless. or who were living in their car.
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or who lived in awful circumstances. did not know where the next meal was coming from. and some of the kids, i remember they did not want to leave the hospital because it was a comfortable place. a nice, comfortable that. they got three meals a day. and to think about going back was a trauma to them. so i frequently did things to extend their hospital stay. it you know, the effect of the matter is, you know, it is more than a hospital stay. it is about a lifestyle. the ability to live in know that there is security there. i remember when my parents got divorced.
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my mother only had a third grade education and we did not have a place to live and fortunately, some of her relatives in boston took us in. it was a horrible place. i heard somebody say, boston, you might know where stanwood street is. i don't know what it looks like now, but it was pretty horrible then. and then we moved from there to glenn way and kept moving around. it was awful. but it was a roof over our head. and my aunt and my uncle, even though we were very war, they -- we were very poor, they were very loving people and you know, they always made us feel welcome where we were. and, my mother worked so hard. two or three jobs at a time. her goal was to get back to our house. it was just a 750-foot g.i. home. but it was our 750 foot g.i. home. it was like paradise. i remember six years after we left, finally being able to get back there. it was one of the happiest days of my life. it helps me to understand the importance of just having a
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place where you feel secure. a place where you know that there are people who love you. and that is something that we really need to start thinking about more in our country. times as three to four many people in this country that need affordable housing then we can provide. it is a matter of supply and demand and the demand is much greater than the supply so what is happening? the price keeps going up. and now there are millions of 35% to 40%, even 50% more than what they earn for housing.
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that is an untenable situation in hand that is an area in which i think government can be helpful. particularly in partnership with the private sector and the faith community. and i will say more about that in a moment. but i know a lot of people are very, very concerned about the new budget numbers that have been put out. [crowd murmuring] dr. carson: and i think it is a crisis and the end of the world. but it is actually not. because the part people are not hearing even though i have said it several times, is that this administration considers housing a significant part of infrastructure in our country. and as such, the infrastructure bill that is being worked on has a significant inclusion of housing in it.
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there is no one sections 8, 11, 202, no one will be thrown out on the street. what would that accomplish? you know, that is not make any sense and it is certainly not going to happen when i am around. [applause] dr. carson: we do have a responsibility to each other. we also have a responsibility to those who come after us. to our children, to our grandchildren. and, right now, we have a national debt of $20 trillion. you have heard that number and you can say that number but does anybody really comprehend what that means? that means $60,000 for every man, woman, and child. thousands of babies born today, each with a price tag of $60,000 in debt on their heads.
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and some people say, it is just a number does not mean anything. tell that to the people of 17th-century spain or 18th century france or 19th century great britain. or ancient egypt or ancient rome. they all did the same thing. he came fiscally irresponsible and went down the tubes. obviously, what we're thinking about now is how do we spend efficiently and effectively. that is one of the reasons i am on this listening tour. i just got back on friday from texas. i was in detroit before that. multiple other places. looking at the things that actually work that are effective in getting people out of poverty and setting them on the trajectory for success.
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the things that actually work for the elderly and for the disabled people in our country that encourage the public -private tarnishes to occur -- private partnerships to occur. when we take the public sector, the private sector, and the faith-based community along with nonprofits and we align them in terms of their goals, believe me, i have seen some magnificent things happen. 8-1 leveraging of federal dollars. then it makes it possible to build or to refurbish you know, the housing. because as i said before, it is a part of our infrastructure. there are a lot of our housing projects that can be fixed. that can be renovated. that can be made into beautiful places. i have seen them on this tour.
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but it requires the right attitude and the right partnerships in order to get that done. you know, one of the things that is hampering innovation around this country are excessive regulations. you know, there is no mayor or governor or housing commissioner anywhere in the country in either party have talked to who has not said the same thing. they said the amount of red tape and the hoops we have to jump through is so ridiculous it almost makes it not worth having a grant. and that is defeating the purpose. that is what bureaucracy is. you're a chris is when you care more about the roles then you care about the -- bureaucracy is when you care more about the rules than you care about the goals. the way i look at it, if you
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have the right goals and the right to tricks for measuring the goals, you do not have to have 12 people looking over everybody shoulder and telling them what to do. that is part of who we are as a nation. we did not reach the goal that way. we reached the pinnacle because we had that entrepreneurial spirit and the innovative spirit and the only way that works is if there is a goal that we have that we have established together and there are metrics we have established together. and then we say, go out and do it. just get it done. as long as you get it done, use the brain got gave you and get it done and accomplish the goal of creating the housing -- use the brain god gave you.
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it is about developing capital, developing our people. we only have 330 million people in this country. china has four times as many people. india has four times that many people. how are we going to compete with them in the future unless we begin to develop all of our people? we just cannot continue to have a situation where 20% of people who enter high school do not finish. we cannot have a situation where world's5% of the population and 25% of the prison inmates. that does not make any sense. these are all people created by god with enormous potential who can be part of the engine rather than part of the load. anything we do needs to be focused on how do we develop the people.
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it is about more than rehabbing the housing complex. it is about creating a community. working across silos to educate people so we have appropriate health care for people. you know, one of the things i have been noticing in successful communities that have been reinvigorated is the emphasis on health care. it is a very, very important thing to think about. if you have a clinic in the neighborhood, then people tend to use that clinic rather than the emergency room for their primary care. now, it costs five times as much to go to the emergency room as it does to go to the clinic. and also, in the emergency room, if you have a diabetic foot ulcer, you know they patch you up in send you out. in the clinic, they packed you
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up and say, now let's get your diabetes under control so you you are not back here in three weeks with another major problem. when we start thinking that way we begin to really see some savings. and efficiency as well as much better health care. at one of the clinics where i was on friday, i was talking to the health care providers there about children who come in with asthma. it is a real big problem. a lot of it is induced by mold. so, what they try to do is when they see that they go out and inspect the home and then there is a private foundation that helps with the mold remediation and that home. that is the way you do it. because the cost, long-term, of
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chronic asthma runs in the tens of billions of dollars. and the same thing with lead remediation. lead remediation. you know, we all know some of the problems caused by lead but do we think about the long-term costs? you know, when a child is affected by lead early on it does not go away. it is a permanent problem. it can affect their behavior. it can lead to a very difficult life for them. and the cost to society can be great. you know, we know there is at least 310,000 children affected by lead in our country right now. just the ones we know about. and there are others. these are enormous costs unless
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our policies recognize these things, then we will continue to be shoveling, you know, water out of the ocean with a teaspoon. it just will not help us. it will make us feel good, oh we got a lump of water but we also have to policies that solve our problems. one of the things that has been extraordinarily effective is the low income housing tax credits because what those do -- [applause] dr. carson: what those do is they encourage the public-private partnerships. that is what works because they help to establish win-win situations. we should be looking not for handouts but for things that everybody involved in the situation benefits. when we formulate those kind of things in the right way, i think we will see a proliferation.
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we are already starting to see them in some of the cities. we will be working again on policies that help to elevate those kinds of partnerships and also the partnerships with the faith community. you know, i have been incredibly impressed by how many people have good hearts and our country. i was at a housing opportunity for people with aids facility and you know, they were saying, you know, when we first came here nobody wanted us. they had signs, they were protesting, you know, they don't want these people in their neighborhood. now, every night people come and bring dinner. you know, for all of the inhabitants. and they bring furniture. i mean, the place looks like a five-star hotel. it is really nice. it is people like you and me
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have reached out with compassion to their neighbors. isn't that who we are? think about it. in the early days of this nation , when it was harvest time, if a farmer was out picking apples, had climbed a tree and fell out of the tree and broke his leg, what did everybody do? they picked his crops for him. they took care of his family. that is who we are. when there is a disaster, who is always first in line with money and aid? we are. we are. because of the godly principles of loving your fellow man. and that is something we need to cultivate. we need to stop listening to all of the people who try to make us believe we hate each other and
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that we are enemies, when we can extend that energy actually solving our problems. think that is where we need to go as a nation and that is going to be up to "we the people." you see, i have given up on "they the politicians." it is "we the people" who have to do it. we have to use our intellect and collective strength because when we don't have somebody, you know, irritating us, we can do pretty well. it is sort of like, remember when you were out in the third grade and everybody was on the playground having so much fun and then comes the troublemaker who says "did you hear what he said about your mama?" and all of a sudden we have turmoil. we don't need that. we have so many things we need to do. working across the silos.
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creating opportunities. one of the things i've been working on is something called "housing savings accounts." when the monthly allocation is made to supplement, a small portion of it goes into a account for each unit and that amount is used to take care of that unit. if there are holes poked in his green, it is coming out of that housing savings come. if the doors. and has to be painted, it comes out of that. guess what happens? people start taking care of their stuff. if there is nothing to take of, it keeps accumulating and if you leave in 5-10 years, you get the money. it can be a very substantial amount of money for a down payment on your own house.
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see, we need to start thinking this way because we want to encourage people. we want to provide a ladder of opportunity for people to move upward and outward. for me, success at had is not just success at hud -- success at hud is not how many people we can have in public housing, it is how may people we can get out of it and how many people we can have become a strong and vibrant part of our society. we can do that. we have the ability to do that. we have things like section three which has been around for a long time but virtually no one pays attention to section three which says that -- [applause] says that you need to employ the low income people in these projects and housing and infrastructure and anything going on in that community. no one does it.
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the reason they do not do it is because they say, well, you know, no one has the skill so we have to go to the outside to do that. and there is some validity in that argument but i do not consider that reasonable. because we are smart. there is a reason we have these sprays with these big frontal lobes that allow us to plan and strategize. any project that is being done has to have a planning stage. and, there is a lot of ground work that has to be done before you actually build something. so why wouldn't it be possible if you know that this is going to be done in this place to go in there a year ahead of time and start training the people there to be able to do the project? [applause] dr. carson: and that when it comes up, they have jobs. and when they have jobs and skills, that skill does not go away when the project ends. they now have a lifetime skill which allows them to move on in to do anything they want. isn't that what america is about
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-- those dreams into those opportunities? what we have to understand is that everybody is either going to become part of the engine or part of the load. in we, as a nation, can go a lot further and faster if a lot more people are part of the engine. so we need to think about ways we can do that. and if people are willing to live by godly principles of loving your fellow man, caring about your neighbor, developing your god-given talents to the utmost, having values and principles that govern our lives. not allowing ourselves to get in a tither and fight all the time. i want to leave you with a thought.
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the brookings institute did a big study on poverty. they concluded that there were three things that a person could do that would reduce the likelihood of them nothing in poverty to 2% or less. that ought to put all of our tears up. just three things. first, finish high school. number two, get married. number three, wait until you are married to have children. you do those three things, you have 2% or less chance of living in poverty. you think it might be a smart thing if we start teaching that to our children and head of time and, just let's -- ahead of time? and just let's start talking about the values and principles to get us there and stop ring afraid of everything.
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everybody is so afraid to say anything because somebody might call them a name. let them call you names. i don't care. when i was a kid, they used to say "sticks and stones will break my bones but names will never hurt me." we don't need to worry about names, we need to wear work -- worry about compassion. we need to worry about godly pins. made us into a great nation. we need to worry about our fellow man standing right next to us and if we are willing to do those things, i guarantee you we will have one nation under god indivisible with liberty and justice for all. thank you so much. [applause] >> we have an opportunity for
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some questions. >> thank you dr. carson. we have been collecting questions from everybody here. we have a stack of them. if there are more we have some staff that will gather them and bring them up. i see a couple over here. with these, i have gone through the ones i have already to come up with a few representative questions i think. so, while one, am not sure you can have have to this one but there's a lot of interest in your senior team and when we will be hearing more. so just as in fyi, people are curious about who else will be in the building making these decisions. that there are a lot of people in the room who are -- thank you -- you are either receiving had assistance -- receiving hud assistance, have public vouchers. the budget cuts are very real and immediate to them and there is a concern about people actually losing their homes.
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you talked about giving some assurances about that nobody would lose their homes. i am sure that was a comfort. i am thinking people would like to hear a little bit more about that and how, given the cuts that are proposed, how you can assure that people would be able to continue receiving the assistance that they need to for them. thank you. dr. carson: one of the things i learned when i was growing up from my mother who only had a third grade education, is that there are efficient ways to utilize funding and an efficient ways. -- inefficient ways. everybody used to wonder, how is this woman with no education who works as a domestic able to afford a new car? they said, she must be selling her body or something. [laughter] dr. carson: but i tell you, she
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was the most thrifty person you could imagine. nothing was ever wasted. and, what we are doing right now and part of the reason i am doing a listening tour and why am studying all of the various things around the station so vigorously is to figure out, where do we get the bank for auerbach -- where do we get the bang for our buck? i am sure the president and everyone knows, if we come up with an efficient way, i am sure there will not be anyone who will lag. i am absolutely determined to make sure that we do this and then effective and efficient manner. secondly, and hear listen very carefully, as i am traveling around i am seeing some of the
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most beautiful places for low income people that have been constructed. and that are being maintained through public-private partnerships of the right types. that is the key. it has to be the right type with the right incentives. the amount of money that exists in this country is enormous. it is much more than the amount of money the government has. and, by creating the right circumstances where we can pull the money and to take care of all of our citizens, think we will be much, much better off than having a program where we are constantly asking a cash-strapped government to do
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everything. it is much better if we have a government that understands his role in helping to facilitate and create the circumstances that allow all of our people to flourish. >> thank you. another question. we've gotten a lot of questions around the engaging with residents and the willingness to engage the tenant organizations, the tenant organizers who rely on these programs. dr. carson: need a reason that is important is because traditionally, you know, people in washington have sort of felt that they had all the answers and that they would, you know, send a message from above. and the way our country was designed is supposed to be by the people. we and washington work for the
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people. the people do not work for us. and somehow that has been forgotten. and that is the reason that i engage with the people, and i am hearing some excellent suggestions and seeing some terrific things. >> what must question. we have a number of young people participating in this conference for the first time. they are asking, a 17-year-old, 18-year-old, how they can get involved and be part of that. dr. carson: my whole medical career was surrounding young people. and, recognizing that in our country it is going to be the
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young people who are going to decide who we are and what would become. it is one of the reasons that, you know, my wife and i put reading rooms in all over the country. title i schools were kids come from homes with no books. poorly funded libraries, books with -- libraries with no books. 70%-80% of high school dropouts are functionally illiterate. so if you can truncate that problem way downstream, you're not going to have that problem upstream. that is what we have to think about. you know, the reason i became a pediatric neurosurgeon is because, you know, you can spend 10, 12, 15, 18 hours operating on a kid and if you are successful, the return may be 50, 60, 80 years of life, whereas with an old geezer, they
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die in five years of something else. so, i would like to get a big return on my investment. a big return. i am just kidding -- [laughter] dr. carson: but you see the point. there is so much potential in our young people. and we have to focus on what is going to work for them. we have had our time or we are having our time. and, it is always best in been a part of america for us to think about the welfare of those who are coming behind us. in act in a way that is responsible in order to improve their quality of life. but housing, and i could talk a long time about this is such in integral part of the well-being mentally and physically of young people.
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i was talking to one of our scholars in baltimore and she was talking about how hard she studies in works and she would always come home, sit down in the living room in order to complete her homework until a bullet came through the window. so now, she studies in the back of the house. and you imagine how disruptive, how anxiety-producing it is to a young person walking home from school. trying to study and their living room and having things like that going on? in that is why when i talk about developing communities i am not just talking about putting a roof over people's heads. i am talking about having clinics. i am talking about having vision centers. places where kids can learn about different careers. because they do not even know
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anything about the multitude of possibilities that exist for them out there. i am talking about places where people can get vocational training and learn how to do things. when i was in high school, i learned how to make electric motors. i could use all of the equipment. kids don't know that stuff anymore. you know, we need centers so they can learn that. they can learn what the various jobs are. they can learn what the responsibilities are. they can get training for doing that. we need transportation so people can get two different places. we need to bring in affordable food markets. we need to work with the policing community. we need to also be thinking about those individuals who are incarcerated. and, why are they incarcerated? here's what i want you to think
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about. when a baby is born, i thank you? i mean, look at how cute. they are so nice. goo goo ga ga. and then 20 years later you ask yourself, what happened to that cute baby? you see, it is our responsibility to make sure the right things happen to that cute baby sebago on the right. many people go to prison go in with no education and little skills. they come out with no education and little skills. one of the going to do? go back to doing whatever they are doing a four. that is why we have high recidivism rates. we need to ask ourselves, are they part of the human capital also? the answer is yes. should we be turning to develop them also and providing an opportunity to change the trajectory of their lives that they can become part of the engine and not part of the loan? of course we should. and when we start thinking about that in all of the different
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ways and stop allowing ourselves to be manipulated and divided. divide and a house divided cannot stand. let's figure oh what we can do to work together to get this done. thank you very much. [applause] >> before you go, not a question, but we are pleased that you are doing the listening tour that you are, and engaging so many people throw the country. we wanted to offer you a list of suggested stops from our state partners, the resident organizations here in this room, that would welcome a chance to welcome you to their communities. dr. carson: you are keeping me busy so i can't get under trouble. thank you. [applause]
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announcer: the head of the u.s. strategic command will testify about his budget priorities. he's expected to get questions about russia and north korea. watch live coverage from the senate armed services committee, starting at 9:30 eastern on c-span3. later in the day, also on c-span3, the afl-cio president will discuss trade, infrastructure, and workers rights. that's alive from the national press club at 1:00 p.m. eastern. announcer: c-span's "washington journal," live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. coming up this morning, new york democratic congressman paul tonko will discuss the efforts to undo climate change policy enacted by president obama. and arizona republican david schweiker will discuss how republicans may proceed with
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health care legislation. and "washington post" congressional reporter paul kane will review filibusters and the so-called nuclear option user to delay key votes. be sure to watch "washington journal" live at 7:00 eastern this morning. join the discussion. economists and, public health officials talk about potential changes to the medicaid program. the conversation also includes access to health services in rural areas and the republican efforts to repeal the affordable care act. the alliance for health reform hosted this forum. >> all right, we're ready. good afternoon. welcome. i'm sarah dash, i'm prest

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