Dr. Ben Carson's two qualifications to serve as secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development appear to be that he has lived in a house for more than 60 years and that he is adept at cutting ceremonial ribbons with a scalpel ("Will Carson's HUD stop desegregation?" Nov. 6).
Dr. Carson takes issue with the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Rule that looks to place affordable housing in more affluent neighborhoods by offering incentives to do so. He did not comment on another provision of Fair Housing that also offers funding for poor neighborhoods — perhaps he had not gone that far in reading that section.
The Baltimore Sun editorial rightly points out that "issues of poverty and substandard housing are inexorably entwined with race." The federal government has an obligation to provide affordable housing for those inner-city residents who need it and at the same time, provide hope that this new housing will lift the spirits and quality of life that these residents deserve. Dr. Carson describes these types of actions by HUD as "red-lining" By building affordable housing within wealthier neighborhoods, these new residents may be exposed to better economic and educational opportunities.
A 2015 Harvard study showed that young children whose families moved to these more affluent neighborhoods fared much better when it came to employment opportunities and a better life. Is this so difficult to discern? Just being able to walk down the street peaceably, waving to your new neighbors without fear of gunshots can be liberating.