HUD Secretary Ben Carson speaks with Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther. Dake Kang/AP

A morning roundup of the day’s news.

Helping hand? Catching up with Ben Carson on the Columbus stop of his listening tour, The New York Times finds the HUD secretary offering a modest defense of some programs the administration has sought to cut, while also clinging strong to his belief that government assistance has led to too much much dependence:

“We have some people who are mentally ill. We have some elderly and disabled people. We can’t expect in many cases those people to do a great deal to take care of themselves,” he said. But, he added, “There is another group of people who are able-bodied individuals, and I think we do those people a great disservice when we simply maintain them.”

Elders win: Two Ivy League economists have laid out exactly how much U.S. housing laws benefit “the old and the wealthy,” with most gains also centered on the coasts as other cities avoid the strict regulations that choke housing supply. (Quartz)

On the move: Congress has signaled resistance to Trump’s goal of gutting funds for dozens of bus and rail projects around the country, with an appropriation bill that largely maintains the status quo for transportation. That includes full federal funding for the D.C. Metro and $125 million for construction of the delayed Purple Line project in Maryland. (Streetsblog, Washington Post)

Bad blood: The Texas statehouse was a scene of emotional toil and torn friendships Tuesday as an attempt to soften the state’s sanctuary cities bill fell apart, advancing the “papers please” law allowing police to ask people about their immigration status. (Dallas News)

Unseen impact: Restricting our Amazon sightline to the boxes on our front stoops would be grossly underestimating the retail juggernaut’s power in reshaping U.S. communities, Curbed writes, pointing to impacts in freight traffic, warehouse real estate values, and the company’s new brick-and-mortar presence.

The urban lens:

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