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Carson blames regulations for racial segregation in poor neighborhoods

Carson blames regulations for racial segregation in poor neighborhoods
© Greg Nash

Dr. Ben Carson on Thursday blamed housing regulations that are “superimposed on highly segregated neighborhoods” for “entrenching racial segregation” in America’s poor neighborhoods in prepared remarks for his confirmation hearing as Department of Housing and Urban Development secretary.

“President-elect [Donald] Trump has talked about the importance of deregulation. That applies to housing as well,” Carson told the Senate committee that oversees housing. “Overly burdensome housing regulations are bad for everyone and are increasing income inequality.” 

In line with Trump’s views on regulatory reform, Carson suggested restrictive land-use regulations raise the cost of buying a home and make it difficult for people to leave poor neighborhoods where they depend on the government for housing.

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“Regulations also are costly. They increase the average price of a new home by over 24 percent, according to the National Association of Home Builders,” Carson told lawmakers. “Those costs price out many young, first-time homebuyers.”

“When there are wide economic gaps by race, as we have in the U.S., exclusionary land-use policies based on families’ economic circumstances entrench racial segregation,” Carson said.

“As housing prices in wealthy neighborhoods rise, migration of unskilled workers to those areas is deterred,” he added. “But when land use for local housing supply is less regulated, workers of all skill types will choose to move to the productive locations.”