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Ben Carson tapped to address housing issues, but is he qualified?

Republican Ben Carson speaks during the Republican presidential debate Wednesday night.
Republican Ben Carson speaks during the Republican presidential debate Wednesday night.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

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President-elect Donald Trump has picked former campaign rival Ben Carson to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD.

During the campaign, Trump vowed to lift up America's inner cities and to help increase homeownership rates.

So what can Carson, a former neurosurgeon, do to make that happen?

"He's certainly not qualified from any conventional standpoint," says Richard Green, director and chair of the University of Southern California's Lusk Center for Real Estate. "So far as I know, he's never spent any time thinking about housing or urban development."

Green, who spent last year as a senior advisor to HUD, says the Department's checklist should include more investment in Section 8 housing vouchers for low-income people.

"That would allow more Angelenos to afford living here," he says.

Green also argues that the government should increase people's access to the FHA program, which gives out low-interest mortgage loans to first-time homebuyers, as well as update the technology that manages the system.

"If he chooses not to do that, it would be very detrimental to the future of those programs."

Plus, HUD should encourage banks to give some borrowers – like independent contractors or good savers who don't have a strong credit history – a second look.

"There are a lot of people who are good credit risks who are being shut out of the market because they're a little unconventional," says Green.

Hear more of Richard Green's assessment of Ben Carson leading HUD by using the blue audio player above.