Proposed rent increase for low income families

Carson pointed to the millions of families who are eligible for housing subsidies but remain on waiting lists nationwide because the current system is too costly and doesn't push families toward supporting themselves.

"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.

Carson said, "The way we calculate the level of assistance to our families is archaic and has perverse consequences, like discouraging these residents from earning more income".

The proposal specifically seeks to change how low-income rental subsidies are calculated.

The secretary insists these changes are for work-able individuals, and will not impact the elderly and disabled households, at least for six years.

"It's gonna create a lot of hardship and a lot of burden", said Marcia Lewis, executive director of the Memphis Housing Authority. The upper limit on rent for the poorest families would triple to approximately $150 a month.

If passed, the changes in how rent is calculated could impact numerous 4.7 million families HUD helps to access affordable housing.


According to the Los Angeles Times, Carson also stopped by a faith-based drug treatment residential center in Echo Park after his visit to Skid Row.

In a plan revealed on Wednesday, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson proposed a plan that would increase rental rates for some public housing residents.

This latest move comes after the administration's proposed FY2019 budget recommends a almost 18 percent cut to HUD. Rents for low-income families would "rise from about an amount not exceeding $50 per month to $150 per month", The Washington Post reported.

Trump's Fiscal Year 2019 budget proposal would slash funding for HUD by $4.8 billion and completely axe the Public House Capital Fund, as well as eliminate the Community Development Block Grant, which local governments use for a variety of infrastructure needs. On a single night in 2017, 553,742 people were homeless in the US. "Despite all the good intentions, our nation's welfare system continues to encourage a culture of dependency rather than self-sufficiency".

Of course, these budget concerns weren't an issue when Carson spent $31,000 in taxpayer money to buy a dining room set for his office, nor when HUD handed taxpayers the bill for new lounge furniture totaling $165,000.

Carson's proposal-as part of the Trump administration's aims-is to ultimately dismantle the agency he was appointed to head.

Carson's act doesn't propose a timeline, but Congress must approve the changes before they can go into effect.

  • Tracy Klein