On Wednesday, Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson appeared before the House Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies as sole witness in a hearing.
In his opening statement, Secretary Carson presented HUD's budget and spoke on the department's plan for homelessness, healthy homes, and rental assistance. According to Carson, HUD is seeking $44.1 billion, an increase of seven percent over last year’s request.
"In short, this budget will support HUD’s combined efforts to provide safe, decent, and affordable housing for the American people, while being good stewards of taxpayer dollars," Carson said.
HUD's FY 2020 budget includes a request for $290 million for the Department’s Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes. Carson noted that more than 20 million homes still contain lead-based paint, and added that HUD is seeking to "overhaul the inspection process that the Department has been using for more than 20 years."
"As a doctor myself, it pained me that after treating a young child, they returned to a home that was not healthy," Carson said. "Quite simply, you cannot be healthy if your home is sick."
During the hearing, Carson was questioned by Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-California) on if DACA recipients are eligible for FHA-backed loans.
Aguilar asked Carson “To your knowledge, are DACA recipients eligible for FHA-backed loans, and has HUD made any changes to existing policy or interpretations?.”
“No one was aware of any changes that had been made to the policy whatsoever. I’m sure we have plenty of DACA recipients who have FHA-backed loans,” Carson responded.
Aguilar then asked Carson if HUD had changed any policy that was not yet in writing.
"I have instructed everyone to follow the laws of the United States, with regard to DACA, with regard to anyone who is an immigrant or potential immigrant to this country," Carson answered. "As long as you continue to follow the laws, you will have my approval."
Watch the full hearing here.