BY RENE RODRIGUEZ
MIAMI HERALD / TNS
MIAMI – Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson’s two-day visit to Miami – his third stop on a national listening tour – started with a big glitch.
Carson, Miami-Dade County Public Housing Director Michael Liu and five other people got stuck inside an elevator Wednesday on the way down from a visit to the rooftop of the Courtside Family Apartments in Overtown.
Miami Heat basketball legend Alonzo Mourning, whose nonprofit AM Affordable Housing co-developed the complex with Miami’s Housing Trust Group, waited anxiously in the building’s lobby while Miami-Dade fire rescue labored to pry open the elevator’s jammed doors.
Mourning was scheduled to greet Carson on his arrival to the location at 8 a.m. and join him on a tour of the $22.8 million facility, which opened in September. But Mourning was 15 minutes late, so Liu started the tour without him, playing a game of foosball with Carson in the building’s rec room and showing him the facility’s beautiful basketball court.
Mourning arrived just as Carson and Liu had squeezed into an elevator, along with other HUD officials, to check out the roof. But when the elevator descended safely to the ground floor, the doors jammed.
Carson took the incident in good spirits, smiling as he emerged from the elevator. Mourning apologized profusely.
Carson then left for his second stop of the day at Collins Park Apartments in Allapattah. As he arrived at Collins Park, he was led into another elevator.
“Do we have the key?” Carson asked.