Ben Carson: Housing affordability across nation is 'a crisis'

A recent report states one in three Americans pay more than 30% of their income in housing costs, plus Parkland school officer in court.
26:32 | 06/05/19

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Transcript for Ben Carson: Housing affordability across nation is 'a crisis'
And. Very welcome to the greater amount Devin Dwyer Washington great to have you with us on this Wednesday a lot of ground to cover today we have an exclusive interview coming up. With housing secretary Ben Carson we also talked to be acting FEMA director about the hurricane season which just got under way. And we also went down to the National Mall today on the 75 anniversary of about what this anniversary means for them you want to stay tuned for that but I do want to start with secretary Ben Carson and our exclusive interview today on a crisis that touches all of us. How scene in its affordability in this country take a look at these numbers. We talked to secretary Ben Carson about what he agrees is a crisis one and three Americans pay more than 30%. Of their income in housing costs that's very hide its forty million Americans struggling to make ends meet the national average monthly rent 14100 dollars in April. And the big cities their New York City 4100 dollars on average LA DC Seattle all over 2000 dollars a month. Chicago Denver Atlanta out other cities are all above average we. Carved with secretary Carson today because he's putting on a showcase of what he says. Is it affordable housing solution tiny homes mobile homes and trailers that are all on display on the National Mall. So what why that why bring out all these mobile homes. The National Mall on the shadow of the capital. Well you know right now we're having a tremendous problem with affordable housing in this country this is America this is the place that is the can do place. A place of innovation. And that's what we're showing here we're showing that technological innovations. That can help address the affordability problem. You know unit. This tiny home that's behind us. Cost a fraction. Oh what a new. Average new home cost you think the situation right now affordable housing which has taken on. You caught a crisis yes I was its occurrences because even though the economy is. Chucking along extremely well. If you're spending. You know thirty to 50% of your income housing. You don't really have the opportunity to do the other kinds of things that. Allow you to enjoy life so that's that's a problem. You can see it's actually you know nice who's sitting areas is pretty good answer to how what are our buildings like this one how can that solved. If former house tests just. Being much more affordable. Which you would you live your money's mr. secretary. If I had to. Look very comfortable I think that's the biggest thing you've learned on the job these past years. The biggest thing it's probably learning to do here. Consider yourself a bureaucrat now I'm and and that. There's bureaucrats and think the rules are more important than all. And surgeons tend to think. The goals. Court. And her vote but we've been working to remove a lot of bureaucracy. China has. These things take a lot of heat from Democrats they have taken aim your policies fifty community leadership. One of these new policies as if you were. An American citizen your legal resident who receive public housing assistance and you happen to live with. In and niece who is undocumented. You would no longer qualify. Rather the rule actually states that specifically that the secretary. May not. Provide housing assistant. To anyone who is here illegally it further states that if the secretary discovers that someone. Who is who legally is harboring someone. Who is not here legally. That he must end their assessment. Specifically thinks that. Why he pushed this was this an idea is you cannot put on your own because it's because the law. And you know we're a nation of laws and it's the lawmakers don't like they need to change it. That's your own agency says 55000. American children could be picked it. Under this pulse and I think we also talked about the hundreds of thousands if not millions. Who are waiting for assistants who are here illegally. They're policy that Democrats. Giving you some heat for his district rollback of anti discrimination. Policy to equal access rule was put in place as you know parents were sixteen. Why did you take that on was there wouldn't you talked about or ever release of the risks and concerns from residents a lot of providers what were those concerns what were you hearing. Well ahead a lot of women's who would have tons of correspondents from women's group that has some come and visit me at. Who are in the women's shelters in many cases trying to escape abusive situations. And they say. Did you know. Theo typical male comes and and wants to be with them and their bathroom in addition our and they feel that their rights are being. So what we're saying. It is we want to be fair to everybody. Well we don't want anybody's rights to trump fairness for another group I've got to ask you about Oreo gate. In your appearance before the committee a couple weeks ago did. It's symbol litigated. You say you misheard but does the criticisms sting and you're good sense of humor about. It I expect criticism. You know we don't really talk about Rios. Anymore we talk about foreclosed properties. I can honestly say there's not been single conversation. She's had been here we've talked about Rios. Do I know what they are of course could I remember what oh was at that particular moment now I couldn't. But that helps everybody. You know we use these acronyms all the time. Have to times in my face and and that means work through it means but they know what a concept this. In up it's silly you know we engage in hot gotcha stuff when we have such big policy issues to do with. And that's what I want to talk about probably actually solve these problems. Not get off into the weeds. Here evo here and company you can't do this your mama Sox and I think. It's that your kitchen and Rockwell as well here it's a nice kitchen and it used to the bathroom Hitler. You're the only African American members at its campus to. If you won't. Now my law but you know again that if it goes back to being. There to. Some house network because it's a neurosurgeon I am for his own people from every part of the world. When I opened in hand. I'm operating on the thing that makes them. Snobs can not than those kinds within its. So I look at people and I think about people and and not loans efficient. Secretary thanks so much. Eric thanks again have been Carson for his time there and he says and clarity is our agency's reporter and producer and he says he's planning to leave office at the end of the president's first term if not before this is clearly one of the things we learned today you were there. He really chiefs at some of the its into the constraints in the job and the politics of the job. He does and I think that he he likes the idea of serving his country is what he said to us but he doesn't like the idea of all of these bureaucratic rules that he asked to abide by. And I think it's also hard for hand to sit in these hearings and to be criticized some brownlee from Democrats. On policies that he thinks are necessary to move the nation along. It ended we should say is a footnote it didn't make it into the kind of he did win some praise this week from one liberal icon in the congress Alexandria cocktail Cortez of New York she's actually treated praise and Ben Carson. Well on a very narrow issue though Asian which she was talking about was the went straight cruel he said he was willing to discuss Sydor to revisit this is a federal housing rule that says that if you commit a crime that you might we can be kicked out of federal. I'm told us he'd be willing to meet where personal see if that ever happens and clarity thanks so much for your reporting and much more from and and the team on abcnews.com are turning now into the tragedy in Parkland Florida. And and one that certainly has hit home again this week with that shooting in Virginia Beach over the weekend over a hundred Americans killed in just the last. A four days alone the families of the Parkland high school students. Who were killed the last or school shooting are now speaking out in paying attention to this man this is the school safety officer Scott Peterson. Who was arrested in charge for neglecting his duty he was in court today all of this bringing. A back the pain of that day in the conversation of that day and are my colleague. New York anchor Kimberly Brooks talked with some of those families today about. The experience of seeing Scott Peterson and also about the call that they want to see Washington do more he can. Hey Dan many yeah I think. It's really easy to get this sensitized to these tragic situations when you're hearing on I constant bases death tolls in all of these tragedies happening every day. But when you sit down with the parent does I did today. I could feel. The weight of their pain they were tearing this grief underneath their smiles. Mice I talked a manual in Patricia Oliver. They lost their seventeen year old son Joaquin. And I talk to Linda Beagle who was with them her son Scott was a coach and a teacher at the school they they say the only thing they can do to heal is to try to make. Change so take a look. Unfortunately the legal process takes a long time. And unfortunately in that long time unless we keep speaking out the three of us than anyone else that we get to speak out yeah people forget. Because you forget unless it in in less it happens to you. And unfortunately it happened to us and we are three people who are not gonna forget and not let anyone else again no man that's our best army should. Yet in so let's talk about the legislation what are you guys pushing for right now specifically. All. This is beyond partner and this is beyond schools and Kate we debts these is how we see beats. Cain and who we do want to talk about guns. It's never too late or too early to talk about bombs we have to mention guns as part of a problem. And in dots were the fight. As well as we have easy access to guns these who continue to happen. And and yes these person is part of the problem. And I'm so glad that now he's gonna pay for that behind bars but there is way more people nimble. And actually more than just people there is there is lovely is an organization is that need to be also a comfortable in here. Dinosaur movement and that's what we wanna go. Yet and then asked for lend as she said she would like to see the red flag law passed in every state now. This permits police or family members to petition a state court to order the temporary removal of firearms from a person. Who may present a danger and of course DeVon this makes sense because as we know. There have been a 115 days and this year so far and there have been a 150. Mass shootings. Yes Tony death so we talked about it earlier in the week here in the briefing room those numbers are quite something and certainly the pain for those cameras evident great interview. Kimberly Brooks are with the families of some of those part from students on this moving day appreciate. You bringing us that at shifting gears now. To the weather as we were just about to add to get to those storms in those floods which had an impact in the middle of the country take a look at some these pictures just stunning aerial photos a lot of farms. And farm communities in the middle country still under water a short time ago we caught up. With one of those in Missouri Blake Hurst the president of the Missouri farm bureau whose corn fields are completely under water. I got hold mid west is getting too much rain of people farmers unable to get an appeals and then we have. Arnold I would guess at least a million acres maybe more under water. Commissioners to thing's gonna mean less corn less soybeans. Unless Sweden perhaps less carbon. That will drive the prices are all those commodities settled. And consumers may not seen in the occur Shuster immediately. But it will show opener Bershard bills. We don't have enough information to make good decisions are up arms may think I was asking am. Worst two to you to give us absurd is we make decisions on. Whether to plant and want to we need some certainty on how he various provisions in both strayed. I'm mitigation bettered its and then disaster relief package are gonna be it shall decide it owned the US Department of Agriculture. And two we have to remember not only our farmers along rivers in the flooding affecting. Everybody in Tibet. From thanks again to Blake Hurst corn former from Missouri with that. Firsthand account of the flooding there that does continue a short time ago I caught up with acting FEMA administrator. Peter gain or to tell us about. His agency's response to these historic floods. I want to start by asking you about this devastating flooding there were seen in the central and south parts of the country you just got an up close look at that damage you're an Oklahoma. With vice president hence touring. Some of the destruction there how does that compare to what you've seen before. It. So yes we went out with other vice president and the acting searching for ths mile Max link to view some flooding. In west Tulsa. Just for context we've had a pretty robust spring when it comes to flooding. We have flooding always all the way from the Canadian buoyed the Mexico border is far west as Kentucky. OR Kansas and Far East says Kentucky. To include flooding in California and Vermont we've had a pretty. Active flooding season and it's still good one for the next month or so. And we just heard here on the show from a Missouri farmer who is struggling to get. Some aid get some support in recovering from this storm. Are you confident that FEMA has adequately resource to respond what's your advice to folks were affected by the fighting. Well first of all I think if you directly affected by flooding you need to register for femur assistants we have a 1800 number so it's 1800. 621. FEMA kinda have to be registered to get assistance and haven't done that please do that you can do it. Online you can do on your phony intuitive person. In your local community. But there ought to be eligible and BC got assistance you. Perceptive register. And of course you are not just keeping an eye on those floods in the middle part of the country but its hurricane season officially began. This week as you know the forecast is for about a dozen named storms this season what keeps you up at night. As we head into this hurricane window. So so first of all. The forecast I think for the season was an average forecast but we like to believe that it only takes one hurricane. To ruin your days on that no matter of human flock are or New York. Not one hurricane is the one that though we want to be ready for. And I think it. What we worry about every day and as a local. A mercy me interest Emerson Angela most of the things eight. Did is that trotting coasted to be prepared. Not only for hurricanes put any hazards that you may face and you learn about specific location. So again now is the time to take action if you are in Florida or up the Atlantic coast for hurricane season. And I've really does do one thing today. You could download the team app for. For example but take action now because when the hurricane shows up in the Atlantic in the clock starts taken. You procrastinate. And you take no action and it impacts you and you feel me directly you wish you read taken. Action today. Thanks again to acting administrator Peter gain or into our producer Matthew van. 20/20 campaign trail and a rough track rough patch now. For front runner Joseph Biden a former vice president has found himself now can fourteen trio. Controversies just in the last 24 hours that have cast new light on his campaign he's on the defensive. After a relatively gaffe free in controversy free. Roll lot of his campaign for more on this and I want to bring into over campaign reporters are cover Joseph Biden are Molly Natal is up in Boston Massachusetts that's where. The former vice president has been today also joined here there and by Kristin Otto who has been tree tracking its roster with you Chris because. Let's just take the first controversy this one is a familiar one for Joseph Biden and it involves plagiarism just in the past 24 hours. A number of news outlets have uncovered the fact that he's new climate change plan and education plan. Have been plagiarized and somewhere in the campaign admits it tell us about this controversy. Plagiarism is no and nothing new to. Com unknown new conference to Joseph Biden first started in 1980s it sank its first personal dedicated to advancing these seven the so. This was kind of a shocking moment that it happened again. He release Carlin planned. Earlier this week. People realize some of the sentences were lifted straight out of on guidebooks and policies from other. Organizations that promote. Climate change. And when it was pointed out campaign the campaign sent oak. Well. Thanks for pointing it out we didn't realize. But the citation torn in the final draft and then speaks at the correct final draft. Set a controversy they have apologize for but significant both because Joseph Biden is the front runner there are a lot of eyes on these proposals. Which is why this. Ms. perhaps more notable than just any other instance same given his history there but Molly Natal I guess this is. A little bit of a different distinction because it is and Joseph Biden himself this wasn't a speech that he delivered or something he wrote I guess. The campaign is saying this is something like his aides putting up of our policy proposal not putting the footnote there. That's right there at and it. Camp a statement from the campaign today said several citations from sources cited in other parts of the heat birth. We're Indian very lean left out at the final version of the 22 page draft as soon as we are made aware. Queen updated to include proper citation self essentially saying look we use this throughout the paper but. We you know we just miss the. Aid that the vice president solved for rice presidents also responding now to some controversy about his position on abortion Molly be he. In the past has supported this 43 year old law called the Hyde amendment a prevents federal funds taxpayer funds from. Being beaten. And used for abortions with the exception of rape incest and life for the mutter mother and Joseph Biden says he stands by that boy he's taken a lot of heat. That's right he says he stands with the Hyde amendment which has been highly criticized by not only other Tony twenty candidates but other un. Leading women's groups like Planned Parenthood. At the DA. Critics mean criticism of the Hyde amendment is that it. Patent limits access to abortion for mainly low income and women of color. Because it won't allow for federal funds to be used to perform. Abortions except in the case of risk to life of the mother. Rape or incest so essentially what they're saying here is that by Joseph Biden supporting mess it's hurting women. Who may not have access or my not have the money to provide to receive an abortion. In an index Chris can they have put understatement on this as well but also a member of the former vice president's rivals in this campaign certain to seize on this we saw Bernie Sanders jumped right on this and said he opposes the high. That was so far nine of the candidates have come out opposing. Joseph Biden's stance on Hyde amendment. The campaign came out to say that Joseph Biden firmly believes that ruby wage is the lawful and shouldn't be overturned. But that hasn't stopped the candidates from jumping out. New York City mayor build a classy of the sad that if you don't support. Of repealing the Hyde amendment and you shouldn't be the nominee that before the Democrats and smeared senator Kirsten Gillibrand also sent that. Repealing it it's so critical and that it's non negotiable so he's taking heat from. All site radio. Interest in this is sort of the first big flashpoint in this democratic primary where we see did the candidates sort of started to jump on one another so far they've sort of stuck to their lanes. There have been too many punches thrown I think this is the closest we get. I'm Molly but it doesn't stop there he's got the plagiarism allegations the Hyde amendment controversy and also facing renewed questions. About his support for the. 1994. Crime bill tell us about that one. And why that is causing so much consternation among Democrats and some of his rivals. Well the last time that joke that Biden was in New Hampshire. Heat he defended the crime bill saying that it did not lead to mass incarceration now that true a lot of criticism from his fellow Democrats used that. That that it in fact did. Cory Booker Connolly Harris filled Lazio all criticized Biden. For defending the bill now. I'd and it has since defended himself on the bill on the campaign trail just last night when I was at an event but can he spoke about the 1994 bell and got defensive saying that you know people have been conditioned to think that it's a bad bill. He says that there are parts of bill that he did not agree with including the three strikes. Clause which essentially is that says if you committed at least one serious crime and you commit three other. Crimes he would get a mandatory life sentence. In the federal prison and he said that he didn't agree with that he said that he that was something he did not support. When Bill Clinton signed that into lie in 1994. That this is something that Biden was a big part that he was that chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee. When this bill was passed and played a big role in helping to get it on the president's tax. Yeah and a lot of victim groups and and and other groups are are have all have a bad taste in their mouth over that build on that process. And still sort of present Joseph Biden for that's into will be certainly be a big. Factor in the campaign northward the president United States also jumping on that mining will think he's so much Christen I don't think you for that finally today as we approach the 75 anniversary of the is marking the occasion. Overseas you see him again wrapping up his state visit in the UK there with the queen today at a commemoration. Of that day of course the United States join with Great Britain. Canada and other allies as they made that. Our track from Portsmouth across the English Channel into France 75 years ago we see the president there marking medication. We sent out our monarch Mona costar Abby today down to add to the National Mall to the World War II memorial to see if she could. Catch up with any World War II vets who are around and see how they feel about this is the president mark Simone is here now Margaret to see you. He's so well what did you hear you found a couple of veterans. On their marking the anniversary I got lucky at the pleasure of speaking to not one but two World War II veteran dead very similar stories and the first way is it Georgia. Hogan sent. And he served in World War II he in his early ninety's now when I asked in you know what does that mean for him to be a World War II veteran he tells me that it was. And on our ten have served he says he still carries that honor today when I ousting you know what is this particular anniversary mean for him he said. It's a time for hand to reflect. On his fellow servicemen who he sent paid the ultimate sacrifice. And he's it sacrifices that we still feel today the littlest. Everybody was. Moment. Everything they are wondering. He got the guys who win and I. Now did they are dying breed the World War II that's the greatest generation and that's it was really need a special to hear from some of the. God that was actually George Chris when he was the second World War II veteran that I spoke with today what was interesting about his story and it's is losing about we just pointed out is that. Time and time again throughout our conversation he kept mentioning you now. I wasn't there I was in part of the group that stormed the beaches in Normandy. I didn't do the heavy lifting but I think his courage is something Ericsson he has yet his courage and his service is something to be honored and his humility is admirable. Absolutely we served salute both of them we salute all veterans of all branches in all conflicts overseas especially on the 75 anniversary those who served. And sacrificed. On the Normandy beaches on. I'm Devin Dwyer Washington we'll be back here at 3:30 eastern time tomorrow hope to see that.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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