People who receive federal housing assistance might soon see their rent triple. That’s if U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson gets his way.
Carson put forward a plan recently that would increase the percentage of renters’ incomes put toward rent from 30 percent to 35 percent. NPR reports that, in some cases, that would mean a 200 percent increase in rental payments for some of the neediest families. And it would also allow public housing authorities to impose work requirements on people who receive this assistance.
What would this mean for those families? What will this do to communities that are already plagued by housing insecurity? What kind of answer is this to the continuing cycle of poverty?
And what does this tell us about Ben Carson and the Trump Administration’s views of poor people?
“For decades there’s been an agreed upon standard of what is affordable housing and there’s agreement that we shouldn’t be paying — any of us — more than 30 percent of our income towards rent,” says Yentel. “When we’re paying more than that, it leaves us vulnerable to financial shocks, unexpected costs that could mean that we would be less able to pay our housing costs.”
“The rent increases that Secretary Carson is proposing actually target the very poorest people, including seniors and people with disabilities,” she continues. “I think it’s important to know that it’s purposeful that these proposed changes would actually impact the people who can absorb those changes the least.”
Click on the audio player above to hear the full conversation.