Skip to main content

HUD's Carson Responds to Lawsuit Over FOIA Requests

Phil Hall
Jan 24, 2018
Dr. Ben Carson, the new Secretary of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) and the sole African-American in President Trump’s cabinet

Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Dr. Ben Carson announced on his Facebook page that advocacy groups were targeting him and his department for allegedly using federal funds to promote religion. However, one of the organizations behind the lawsuit is refuting that charge.

In his Facebook posting, Dr. Carson wrote: “The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) and Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) are apparently filing a lawsuit against HUD and me, alleging that they are being treated unfairly because they are required to pay a standard fee when requesting information through the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) regarding my participation in the weekly Bible study for cabinet members.” Dr. Carson rejected the premise for the lawsuit, adding that “taxpayer funds are not used to support the ministry, and secondly, no staff are involved in the Bible study.”

Dr. Carson also stated, “I will not stop being a Christian while in service to this country, in fact, it is my faith that helps me serve the nation even better. The relentless attacks on the spirituality of our nation must be resisted.”

FFRF made no mention of the lawsuit on its website’s newsroom, but CREW issued a press release claiming that its FOIA requests were based on press reports that Dr. Carson’s family were having a conspicuous presence at HUD headquarters and that the organization wanted to confirm “the level of their influence on HUD priorities and policy decisions.” CREW's lawsuit also cites a filed FOIA request regarding information on Dr. Carson’s alleged use of non-commercial aircraft for government business.

“These records should be a part of the public record, and HUD is making it much more difficult to obtain and publish them,” CREW Executive Director Noah Bookbinder said. “The American public deserves to know who is influencing decisions that will affect them.”
Jan 24, 2018
Mortgage Forbearance Changes Create Challenges for Servicers

65% Of All Plans Would Expire By The End of 2021

Regulation and Compliance
Aug 02, 2021
CFPB Reports Trends In Financial Assistance

The latest developments from this study reveal that most consumers have exited the payment assistance they received at the start of the pandemic.

Analysis and Data
Jul 14, 2021
CFPB Orders GreenSky To Refund $9M In Unauthorized Loans

The consent order requires GreenSky to refund or cancel up to $9 million in loans for the customers harmed by this illegal conduct.

Regulation and Compliance
Jul 13, 2021
CFPB Warns Landlords And Consumer Reporting Agencies To Report Accurate Rental Information

Inaccurate rental or eviction information can unfairly block families and individuals from safe, affordable housing.

Regulation and Compliance
Jul 01, 2021
FHFA Mandates Quarterly Fair Lending Reports

FHFA issued orders for all enterprises to submit quarterly Fair Lending Reports with data and information to improve the FHFA’s capabilities. 

Regulation and Compliance
Jul 01, 2021
FHFA Follows CFPB To Protect Borrowers Once COVID-19 Foreclosure And Eviction Moratoriums End

The Federal Housing Finance Agency made it clear that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac servicers are not permitted to make first notice or filing for foreclosure that would be prohibited by the CFPB protections for borrowers affected by COVID-19.

Regulation and Compliance
Jun 30, 2021