HUD rent proposal could hurt low-income residents in WNY

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson takes his seat before testifying before a House Committee on Appropriation subcommittee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington Tuesday

The HUD secretary indicated that some of the rationale behind the proposal included reducing the administrative burden for public housing authorities and landlords, but Couch said, "We actually think it's going to be a lot more complicated to administer".

He later visited three homeless centers in Las Vegas, including a center for homeless youth, where he met with staff and residents. A 5-percent yearly increase in public housing rent would amount to $600 of that $12,000.

Under federal guidelines, tenants in public housing units pay about 30 percent of their yearly income in rent.

"Here they go again demonstrating the clear lack of understanding of the challenges these families face", Commissioner Klein said". The proposal legislation would require congressional approval.

The National Low Income Housing Coalition released a written statement Wednesday arguing that the proposal to increase rents impedes low-income families from investing in their future with education, training, retirement savings and health care.

Though the 30-percent rule for measuring affordability has always been accepted as the standard rule of thumb, for families at lower income brackets, even this percentage is way too high when factoring in other necessary expenses as well as the need to save for emergencies.

"Every year, it takes more money, millions of dollars more, to serve the same number of households", Carson added.

"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", Carson told The Associated Press.

"We were shocked to see rent increases targeting HUD's lowest income senior residents in a draft proposal from the department charged with creating "quality affordable homes for all" as well as in a draft bill circulating from a member of Congress", LeadingAge President and CEO Katie Smith Sloan said.

Commenting past year on the Trump administration's budget proposal, Carson said in a radio interview that "poverty, to a large extent, is also a state mind".

A retired neurosurgeon, Carson grew up in poverty in Boston and Detroit, although he never lived in public housing. Cooper says public housing residents in the USA have an average income of around $12,000. "It should be used as a springboard, and not as a hammock".

Cooper told The AP that the likely effect would be to force families into homelessness.

The New York City Housing Authority, which is already struggling to pay for much-needed repairs, called the proposal "devastating".

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