HUD wants low-income families on housing assistance to pay more rent

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson announced Wednesday a proposal that would increase rent payments f...

Posted: Apr 26, 2018 8:59 AM
Updated: Apr 26, 2018 8:59 AM

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson announced Wednesday a proposal that would increase rent payments for more than two million of the nation's poorest.

The new low-income rent reform would require households that receive federal housing assistance to pay 35% of their gross income in rent, up from the current requirement of 30% of adjusted income. Also, it would triple the minimum monthly rent these families must pay -- from $50 to $150. Roughly 712,000 housing assistance recipients currently pay less than $150 a month.

The change would affect able-bodied, working age Americans who rely on HUD for rental assistance. These folks make up roughly half of the 4.7 million people who receive this federal housing help.

It would not have an impact on elderly or disabled residents for six years, after which time their maximum rent will rise to $50 a month. Currently, the amount seniors and the disabled pay varies based on the program they are in.

Related: House GOP bill would lock the poor out of food stamps

The proposal dubbed "The Making Affordable Housing Work Act" is a bill Congress would have to approve. HUD cannot unilaterally change the rent rules.

The overhaul would also allow housing authorities across the country to require residents to work. The move is in keeping with the Trump administration's efforts to mandate work for Americans who receive public assistance. President Donald Trump last week issued an executive order directing agencies to promote employment for those who receive government benefits. Already, federal agencies are instituting or expanding work requirements for those on Medicaid and food stamps.

Some recipients of housing assistance already have to work. Some 39 public housing agencies are currently in HUD's Moving to Work program, which allows them to impose work requirements.

"It is ironic that a man who used taxpayer dollars to buy a $30,000 dining room table for the federal agency he leads wants to raise rent on poor people," said Congressman Cedric L. Richmond, the Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, in a statement. "Secretary Carson's immoral, ill-advised proposal is the latest example of the Trump Administration's war on poor people," he added.

Carson said the proposal would help address rising costs of providing housing assistance, which he said currently helps only one in four families that qualify.

Related: Trump signs executive order pushing work requirements for the poor

"These waiting lists mean families must wait for years," he said. "It's clear that from a budget perspective and from a human point of view, the current system is unsustainable."

Carson said the current rules are "too confusing, convoluted, and costly," but did not explain how creating two systems -- one for elderly and disabled residents, and one for able-bodied, working age residents -- would solve the problem.

The legislation also proposes evaluating residents' income once every three years, rather than annually, which "would substantially ease the administrative burden."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 250869

Reported Deaths: 5481
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto17010171
Hinds16091318
Harrison13250193
Rankin10629208
Jackson10216182
Lee8759141
Madison8186161
Jones6222109
Forrest5917118
Lauderdale5808180
Lowndes5309111
Lafayette491192
Lamar480465
Washington4770123
Bolivar3955106
Oktibbeha390380
Panola365076
Pontotoc361152
Monroe3521104
Warren344597
Union341458
Marshall339165
Neshoba3357152
Pearl River323295
Leflore2992105
Lincoln295685
Sunflower280469
Tate269560
Alcorn262653
Itawamba261159
Hancock260458
Pike259977
Scott244745
Prentiss244052
Yazoo242654
Tippah239749
Copiah239149
Simpson233967
Leake229564
Coahoma228554
Grenada217070
Covington210471
Marion208371
Adams203270
Winston199464
Wayne198730
George197938
Attala193158
Newton189142
Chickasaw182944
Tishomingo182159
Holmes168167
Jasper167735
Clay158233
Stone141520
Tallahatchie139234
Clarke137460
Calhoun135121
Smith119423
Yalobusha116134
Walthall111736
Noxubee110222
Greene109129
Montgomery109134
Carroll104121
Lawrence102117
Perry100531
Amite96825
Webster91924
Tunica86021
Claiborne85525
Jefferson Davis84025
Humphreys82624
Benton81023
Kemper76620
Quitman6838
Franklin65815
Choctaw60013
Wilkinson58325
Jefferson53419
Sharkey42417
Issaquena1596
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 420681

Reported Deaths: 6119
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson61755921
Mobile30058548
Madison26852186
Tuscaloosa20652266
Montgomery18876305
Shelby18421114
Baldwin16176182
Lee12393101
Morgan12175113
Etowah11687168
Calhoun11078200
Marshall10158107
Houston8556148
Cullman7999105
Limestone796274
Elmore7783101
DeKalb767197
Lauderdale752883
St. Clair7502120
Talladega6145108
Walker5880174
Jackson578841
Colbert529873
Blount529283
Autauga515455
Coffee438156
Dale394381
Franklin365248
Chilton335365
Covington326968
Russell326810
Escambia316142
Dallas302896
Chambers281869
Clarke279633
Tallapoosa2607107
Pike247629
Marion244650
Lawrence242547
Winston225535
Bibb214447
Geneva199535
Marengo197829
Pickens196231
Hale175442
Barbour172336
Butler168458
Fayette167126
Cherokee160030
Henry152721
Monroe145017
Randolph138835
Washington137026
Clay126145
Crenshaw118644
Lamar117519
Cleburne117223
Macon114335
Lowndes109535
Wilcox102621
Bullock98728
Perry96919
Conecuh94220
Sumter88826
Greene75723
Coosa60515
Choctaw51224
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