Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson announced a proposal Wednesday that would triple the rents of the poorest Americans receiving housing assistance, as well as impose new work requirements.
Carson's plan, proposed in the form of congressional legislation, would raise from 30 percent to 35 percent the amount of their income that Americans on housing assistance pay toward their housing. It would also require that the money be made by at least 15 hours of work at the federal minimum wage level.
That plan would cause rent payments for low-income families to rise from about an amount not exceeding $50 per month to $150 per month, The Washington Post reported.
The new rules would not apply to households “comprised of elderly persons or persons with disabilities”, according to a HUD release, but Carson said the changes are necessary to fix a broken system and better serve low-income Americans.
Carson's Making Affordable Housing Work Act comes after the White House's fiscal 2019 budget declared it would “encourage work and self-sufficiency” across housing assistance programs.
“The system we currently use to calculate a family’s rental assistance is broken and holds back the very people we’re supposed to be helping,” Carson said in a statement. “HUD-assisted households are now required to surrender a long list of personal information, and any new income they earn is ‘taxed’ every year in the form of a rent increase. Today, we begin a necessary conversation about how we can provide meaningful, dignified assistance to those we serve without hurting them at the same time.”