Tester Presses Ben Carson to Increase Access to Affordable Housing, Protect 30-Year Mortgage
Senator to Nominee: Where There is No Affordable Housing, There is No Economic Opportunity
(U.S. Senate)—Senator Jon Tester today pressed Dr. Ben Carson, President-elect Trump’s nominee to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, to increase access to affordable housing in Montana and to protect the 30-year mortgage.
Tester questioned Carson on his understanding of the unique housing challenges in Montana during his confirmation hearing in front of the Senate Banking Committee, and challenged him to recognize the opportunity that the 30-year mortgage has provided to middle-class Montanans.
“Where there isn’t affordable housing, there isn’t economic opportunity or the ability to create jobs,” Tester told Carson. “The 30-year note is special to the U.S. and it has allowed millions of people to buy houses who otherwise couldn’t.”
Tester also urged Carson to reduce red tape for small housing agencies and pushed Carson to support the Interagency Council on Homelessness, which supports local initiatives to reduce homelessness and helps those who are at-risk of homelessness.
Tester additionally challenged Carson to support critical housing block grants for Native American communities. Tester has sponsored legislation to reauthorize the Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act (NAHASDA) and will once again lead the effort on this important initiative that awards block grants for tribes and tribal housing authorities.
Tester specifically asked Carson to visit Montana, if confirmed, to better understand the housing difficulties in rural America.