Donald Trump frequently claims that African Americans have been better off financially since he has been in office. The President commonly talks about how black unemployment is at the lowest rate in history. This was true in March of 2018, when the rate was at 5.9%.
Ben Carson, Trump’s Secretary of Housing and Urban Development recently appeared on Maria Bartiromo’s Fox News show. The HUD Secretary said that while there are positive black unemployment numbers, the home ownership numbers among African Americans have seen a decline.
Carson believes that the issue began during the economic slowdown of 2007 and 2008. He told Bartiromo:
“Interestingly enough, black home ownership has declined significantly, particularly because of the housing crisis. People took advantage of a lot of people who did not have a lot of wherewithal, in terms of financial knowledge about housing. And you know, by manipulating debt-to-income ratios and the various types of manipulations for credit that were done, they put people into houses that they couldn’t afford.”
The HUD Secretary continued, “It is very important that we do what we can to get people back into housing, because the average net worth of a renter is $5,000, the average net worth of a homeowner is $200,000. [This] accounts for a lot of the income gap that we are seeing, and we’re working very hard to correct that.”
Carson was asked about allegations that the President is a racist. He used the unemployment numbers as an argument against Trump being prejudiced. “Look at the policies that have been done and look at the people who have been helped,” he said. “You know, black unemployment at the lowest level ever.”