By Jill Disis
NEW YORK CITY, NY (CNN) — President-elect Donald Trump says he’s “seriously considering” Dr. Ben Carson for housing secretary.
In a tweet on Tuesday afternoon, Trump called Carson, a retired neurosurgeon and former rival for the Republican presidential nomination, “a greatly talented person who loves people!”
I am seriously considering Dr. Ben Carson as the head of HUD. I’ve gotten to know him well–he’s a greatly talented person who loves people!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 22, 2016
The secretary of housing and urban development oversees federal public housing programs and helps formulate policy on homelessness and housing discrimination. If nominated, Carson would have to be confirmed by the Senate.
A spokesman for Carson, 65, said he could not comment.
It’s unclear whether he would take the job. Last week, when Carson was rumored to be under consideration for other Cabinet posts, one of his advisers, Armstrong Williams, told The Hill newspaper: “Dr. Carson feels he has no government experience, he’s never run a federal agency. The last thing he would want to do was take a position that could cripple the presidency.”
Carson told The Washington Post last week that he is “leaning” toward working “from the outside and not from the inside.”
“I want to have the freedom to work on many issues and not be pigeonholed into one particular area,” he told the newspaper.
The job of housing secretary became even more important after the 2008 housing crisis. President Obama’s first pick for the job, Shaun Donovan, oversaw the nearly $14 billion HUD received from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, known as the stimulus.
Donovan left the job in 2014 and was replaced by Julian Castro, then mayor of San Antonio.
The housing secretary also oversees programs that administer mortgage insurance to prospective homeowners and give rental subsidies to lower-income families.
–CNN’s Eugene Scott contributed to this report.
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