U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson hopes to increase the amount that low-income families pay in rent and make it easier for property owners to impose work requirements on people who receive federal housing subsidies.
The move would impact 4.7 million families who receive housing assistance from the federal government, and the legislation would require congressional approval, according to the Washington Post.
Tenants tend to put roughly 30 percent of their adjusted income toward rent, and this is capped at $50 a month for the poorest families. However, the Trump administration would like to set the rent contribution at 35 percent of gross income and raise the cap for the poorest families to roughly $150 a month. Roughly 712,000 households would have their rents rise to $150 under this plan.
The bill would also expand the ability of property owners and public housing agencies to establish work requirements, something that only 15 agencies in roughly 12 states currently do. HUD would like to get rid of medical and child-care cost deductions when determining rents for tenants as well.
Disabled people and people older than 65 would be exempt from these increases for the first six years and from work requirements.
Critics blasted the plan as cruel, especially given the recent tax bill the Republicans passed, but Carson told reporters it was necessary to change a broken system.
“There is one inescapable imperative driving this reform effort,” he said. “The current system isn’t working very well. Doing nothing is not an option.” [WashPost] – Eddie Small