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Government & Politics

In Columbus, HUD Secretary Ben Carson Announces $2 Billion to Help the Homeless

photo of Ben Carson and Sonya Thesing
KAREN KASLER
/
STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU
HUD Secretary Ben Carson presents a mock-up of a check to Sonya Thesing, executive director of Huckleberry House, which works with teens and families in crisis from abuse, violence, poverty and homelessness. It’s among 280 in Ohio getting money from HUD. ";

The U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development visited Columbus to announce new money to combat homelessness across the country – the day after a new report showed a slight increase in Ohio’s homeless population.   

HUD Secretary Ben Carson says nearly $2.2 billion will be awarded to some 6,500 programs nationwide serving the homeless. That includes 280 in Ohio, which is 4th in the nation in this kind of funding. Carson says homelessness caused by a lack of affordable housing could be solved with 3-D building technology and with tiny houses.

"We have to remove some of the barriers to be able to utilize them. NIMBYism is a big problem in our country – ‘not in my back yard’, and I understand it," Carson said. 

Carson says this funding is an overall increase, and there’s more to come – but he says money won’t solve the addiction, mental illness and runaway housing costs that lead to homelessness.