U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson is backing away from a proposal to substantially raise rents on millions of low-income people.
Carson told a crowd in Detroit additional federal funding may make the rent increase unnecessary.
Officials touted the plan as a way to nudge people receiving government-subsidized housing to join the workforce.
An analysis conducted for the Associated Press found it would raise rents by an average of about 20 percent for more than eight million people with low incomes across the country.
But at an event in Detroit HUD Secretary Ben Carson said the rent increase was intended for people able to work, not those who are elderly or disabled, and to offset budget cuts he says Congress no longer seems ready to enact.
Carson said, “We would only raise rents if we have to raise rents. If we don’t have to raise them (then) that’s not part of the proposal.”
Carson says he’s still negotiating with Congress to address what HUD officials call a crisis in affordable housing nationwide.