FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Thursday April 13, 2017
Trenise Bryant, (786) 267-7629
Tony Romano, (404) 593-5227
Alex Tourk, (415) 291-9501, [email protected]
Community organizers call out Secretary Ben Carson prior to closed-door meeting with NAACP in Miami
MIAMI, FL - Today, Miami Workers Center, CarsonWatch, and Right to the City are hosting a press conference outside the National Fair Housing Month Community Forum, an event hosted by the NAACP Miami, whose special guest is Secretary Ben Carson. The purpose of today’s press conference is to gather community in opposition to the $6 billion in budget cuts to the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) proposed by President Trump and supported by Secretary Carson.
Dr. Carson, HUD Secretary, is spending a full two days in Miami as part of his “listening tour” of communities and HUD offices across the country. Carson has previously visited Detroit and Dallas, and similar to those visits, his time in Miami has been far less about listening to the community, and instead more about cultivating highly curated and controlled events where the Secretary has the opportunity to meet friendly allies and public officials conveniently before press.
Because the convening organizations behind today’s press conference feel that Secretary Carson has failed to do much listening on his aforementioned tour, we are here today with many individuals, outside yet another “listening” event, to discuss the actual impacts that Trump and Carson’s $6 billion proposed HUD funding cuts may have. Floridians stand to lose 9,025 in housing vouchers, over $53 million in public housing funding, and over $132 million in CDBG funding.
“HUD cuts would make hundreds of thousands of families, seniors and children homeless. In Florida alone, nearly 5,000 families and individuals could lose their housing vouchers this year,” community leader Trenise Bryant of Miami Workers Center said, adding, “Secretary Carson explicitly said no one would be kicked to the streets on his watch and I would like for him to explain the discrepancies in his words versus these cuts to the folks who stand to lose the most.”
“Miami is one of the least affordable cities in the country. At a time when half of all renters in America have unaffordable rent — that’s 21 million families/households — and 1 in 4 renters pay over half of income to housing, HUD funding should not be butchered,” noted Guillermo Mayer, President & CEO of Public Advocates, the group that powers CarsonWatch, “HUD funding needs a vital boost. The well is already too dry and many Americans are suffering.”
Community groups in attendance at the event included members of Right to the City, the Miami Workers Center, FANM-Society of Haitian Women, Community Justice Project, and the New Florida Majority. Event organizers hope to hear from Secretary Carson prior to his Miami departure.
CarsonWatch is a federal housing watchdog committed to stopping President Trump, HUD Secretary Ben Carson, and their Congressional allies from any attempts to roll back fair housing protections and undermine the housing security of millions of Americans. Join the watch at CarsonWatch.org.
The Miami Workers Center (MWC) is Miami’s leading social change nonprofit organization that fights for social, racial, economic and gender justice in Miami, Florida. We work to unite and grow the power of low-income Latinos and African-Americans from some of the most vulnerable neighborhoods of Miami, such as Liberty City, Wynwood, Appalatah and Little Havana. We fight for good paying jobs, affordable housing, immigrant rights, the protection of domestic workers and victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse.
Right to the City is a unified response to gentrification and a call to halt the displacement of low-income people, people of color, marginalized LGBTQ communities, and youths of color from their historic urban neighborhoods. We are a national alliance of racial, economic and environmental justice organizations.