Ben Carson In Los Angeles On Homelessness Fact-Finding Mission

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson is set to propose rent increases on Wednesday for low-income households and require those receiving federal housing subsidies to work
A New Trump Administration Proposal Could Triple Low-Income Families' Rent
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27 April, 2018

Not only is Carson considering raising rent for poor Americans, but officials said he also wants to cut deductions that are considered when determining rent, including child-care costs and medical expenses.

Carson's proposed changes would raise the rent paid by public housing residents to 35 percent from 30 percent of household income and eliminate all deductions that could lower that number.

"Changes that are made to the rental structure ultimately have to be approved by Congress", the former neurosurgeon said.

The proposed overhaul, which is the latest move by the Trump administration to crack down on federal assistance for the poor, will affect an estimated 4.5 million American families who rely on housing assistance.

Cooper said he understands how the concept appeals to Carson, whom he called "a bootstrap guy".

A person or family earning $12,000 per year and paying 30 percent of it to public housing rent only has $700 remaining each month for food and medicine, he said.

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"I think that's what really teeters on the edge of unaffordable", The Greenville Housing Authority Executive Director, Ivory Mathews said. "That's why we're living here, because it goes by income".

Beyond the potential of increased rent for residents and more complicated administration for those who operate subsidized housing, LeadingAge also opposes Carson's ideas, Couch said, because "Our members don't want to implement these kinds of policies". Officials say more than half of the families HUD serves are elderly and disabled.

"It is widely accepted that only one in four families who need and qualify for HUD programs actually receive housing assistance", the secretary said in a conference call with reporters.

At the same time, the Trump administration is approving waivers for states to impose work requirements on recipients of Medicaid, the health insurance program for the poor jointly administered by the federal government and the states. "We're still trying to bring people to a livable wage here". He highlighted a provision of the bill that would require housing authorities to verify a family's income every three years, rather than yearly - a change that, Carson says, would save families from a constant slog of paperwork and the federal government's annual invasion of their privacy.

Currently, the value of a voucher must be 90 to 110% of the fair market rent, she said.

Conversely, he said, "You take somebody with the wrong mindset, you can give them everything in the world [and] they'll work their way right back down to the bottom".


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