Washington Post: HUD Secretary Ben Carson to propose raising rent for low-income Americans receiving federal housing subsidies

Washington Post: HUD Secretary Ben Carson to propose raising rent for low-income Americans receiving federal housing subsidies
April 25, 2018 Joanna Rivas

U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson on Wednesday proposed raising the amount that low-income families are expected to pay for rent — tripling it for the poorest households — as well as making it easier for property owners to demand work requirements for those receiving federal housing subsidies. The move to overhaul how rental subsidies are calculated would affect 4.7 million families relying on federal housing assistance. The proposal legislation would require congressional approval. “There is one inescapable imperative driving this reform effort,” Carson said in a call with reporters. “The current system isn’t working very well. Doing nothing is not an option.” Tenants generally pay 30 percent of their adjusted income toward rent or a public housing agency minimum rent — which is capped at $50 a month for the poorest families. The administration’s proposal sets the family monthly rent contribution at 35 percent of gross income, or 35 percent of their earnings working 15 hours a week at the federal minimum wage. Under the proposal, the cap for the poorest families would rise to about $150 a month — three times higher than the current minimum. About 712,000 households would see their rents rise to the new monthly minimum of $150, HUD officials said.

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