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Rent hike proposed for millions using federal housing assistance

Posted at 9:17 AM, Apr 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-26 09:17:44-04

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson is proposing a rent hike for millions of people on federal housing assistance.

Carson and says it's an effort to reach more people who need housing help and is calling this the Making Affordable Housing Work Act.

A family using federal housing assistance pays 30 percent of their gross income toward rent, but under Carson's plan that would increase to 35 percent. Also, the monthly cap on rent would go from $50 to $150 dollars.

This would initially only impact able-bodied, working-age Americans which make up about half of the nearly five million people who live in subsidized housing. It wouldn't affect the elderly or disabled for six years, but after that their monthly minimum in rent would rise to $50.

Carson says it's costing more to pay for public housing and only one in every four families who qualify are being helped.

In Maryland, about 94,000 people use federal housing assistance, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. They say 90 percent of those households include children or people who are elderly or disabled, and 75 percent of the able-bodied renters do work.

Carson's proposal would also allow housing authorities to require residents to work, which according to the HUD, very few currently do make it a requirement.