Statement from state Rep. Sherry Gay-Dagnogo (D-Detroit) on Ben Carson’s visit to Detroit

Thursday, March 16, 2017

“In recent statements, Ben Carson, the secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, made comments that called into question his understanding of the African-American experience and the impact of policies that help to perpetuate poverty in various urban centers throughout the United States, as well as a lack of understanding of spatial racism, which helps to deepen the line of demarcation of redlining.

“As a Detroit native, I am hopeful that his visit to our city will leave him better-informed than when he arrived. HUD’s recent announcement to reduce the federal housing budget could have far-reaching implications on those that are currently living in affordable housing. 

“Currently, the Michigan State Housing Development Authority has approximately 27,500 citizens receiving a section 8 subsidy for housing, and the Detroit Public Housing Authority has a much larger constituency than anywhere in the state of Michigan. The aforementioned cuts would severely impact our seniors living on fixed incomes, with pensions that are grossly over-taxed. These cuts would create even greater housing challenges in a community that is struggling with blight, thereby increasing housing cost. Secretary Carson need only review the Authority Health Annual Report from 2016 to understand the increasing health crisis these policies are causing for residents in the city of Detroit, who are already facing state dismantled schools that have led to poor academic opportunities, inadequate transportation and even a lack of healthy food options.

“I am calling on members at the federal, state, county and city level to highlight to Secretary Carson just how damaging these cuts will be to the city of Detroit and various urban centers that have already suffered severe hardship at the hands of state mandates and emergency managers.”