To HUD Secretary Carson, From a Former Low-Income Housing Resident With a Disability


I recently read an account of Secretary of HUD Dr. Ben Carson becoming stuck in an elevator in the midst of his “listening tour” of affordable housing across America.

And I have to say, I’m more than glad it happened.

No, not because I don’t agree with some of his policies or political beliefs. I respect Dr. Carson so much as an uber-talented neurosurgeon, and his story of growing up poor in the projects and being raised by a single mother to rise to where he is today is truly inspirational to me.

So why am I glad for the misfortune of someone I respect? Because it shows how low-income housing has taken a back seat to quality. As if it doesn’t matter that the elevator doesn’t work, because they are poor people anyway, so why fix it?

This is the same attitude as the one found in my old HUD building where I lived for almost 3 years before my husband and I were married. The elevator was so old and seldom worked that one summer the leasing office asked us not to use it because it was overheating from use. For a building full of elderly and disabled persons, this was not acceptable.

Do you know what ended up happening? When the building was bought for local college student housing, the elevator, deemed not fixable before, was mysteriously fixed and the entire inside of the building was gutted and renovated for the new tenants.

Dear Dr. Carson, you have now been reminded how the other side lives on a daily basis. Here is your opportunity to fix it. To give low-income housing the dignity and care its residents deserve.

Please take it.

Editor’s note: This story reflects an individual’s experience and is not an endorsement from The Mighty. We believe in sharing a variety of perspectives from our community.

This post originally appeared on Be Anxious About Nothing.

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