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HUD Secretary Ben Carson plans visit to Aurora affordable housing complex

Author: Ernest Luning - July 28, 2018 - Updated: July 30, 2018

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Housing and Urban Development Sec. Ben Carson is seen during a roundtable discussion at Mariners Inn, Thursday, July 19, 2018, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)Housing and Urban Development Sec. Ben Carson is seen during a roundtable discussion at Mariners Inn, Thursday, July 19, 2018, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson is scheduled to tour an affordable housing site in Aurora Monday afternoon with U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman and the city’s new mayor, Bob LeGare.

The officials plan to visit the $53 million Village at Westerly Creek complex on East Kentucky Avenue and talk about Aurora’s Opportunity Zones, designated low-income areas that offer tax breaks to investors and developers. The zones were created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, massive tax reform legislation passed by Congress at the end of last year.

Carson, a retired neurosurgeon and 2016 presidential candidate, won the Western Conservative Summit’s presidential straw poll two years in a row and polled ahead of the field for more than a month before voting began. After placing fourth in the Iowa caucuses, his campaign appeared to lose steam, and he dropped out of the race after Super Tuesday a month later.

Carson visited Denver last fall to address a meeting of mortgage bankers and toured housing projects in the area while he was in town.

Coffman’s Democratic challenger, Jason Crow, urged the Republican congressman to question some of Carson’s recent public statements.

“It’s no surprise to see Mike Coffman rolling out the welcome mat for the Trump administration. There might not be enough hours in the day for all of them, but Coffman could use this opportunity to challenge Secretary Carson on some of his outrageous and insulting positions — like claiming poverty is a choice, or worrying that homeless shelters are too comfortable. But if this visit is just another chance for Coffman to cozy up to the administration he’s supposed to be holding accountable, then Coloradans will see right through it.”

Ernest Luning

Ernest Luning

Ernest Luning is a political correspondent for Colorado Politics. He has covered politics and government for newspapers and online news sites in Colorado for more than 25 years, including at the Highlands Ranch Herald, the Jefferson Sentinels chain of community newspapers and the Aurora Sentinel, where he was the city hall and cops reporter. After editing the Aurora Daily Sun, he was a political reporter and blogger for The Colorado Independent site. For nearly a decade, he was a senior political reporter and occasional editor at The Colorado Statesman before the 119-year-old publication merged with Colorado Politics in 2017.