President Donald Trump’s administration will propose increasing the minimum percent of income that poor families living in subsidized housing will pay in rent, according to suggested legislation The Washington Post first reported.
Currently, the lowest-income residents in housing provided by the Department of Housing and Urban Development pay 30 percent of adjusted salary toward rent.
However, Secretary Ben Carson’s proposal would raise that to 35 percent.
Carson’s proposal suggests raising the minimum rent for the poorest families to $150 a month, compared to the current monthly minimum of $50, according to The Post.
The suggested legislation text stipulates the secretary may raise the minimum rate through regulation.
The administration’s proposal would have to be approved in Congress, which is currently considering proposals to reform HUD’s rent assistance model in line with Trump’s goal of encouraging poor families and welfare recipients to participate in the workforce and become self-sufficient.
Carson also hopes to reduce the burden of byzantine rules housing authorities and tenants must navigate to calculate rent costs for families with similar incomes.
“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 Wednesday.
“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,” he added.
“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.”
The current rental structure for subsidized housing encourages families to work few hours and doesn’t provide incentives raise incomes, critics said.
“When a family increases their earned income, the housing authority increases the rent accordingly,” William O. Russell, president and CEO of the Florida Housing Authority in Sarasota, said in testimony before the House Committee on Financial Services on Wednesday.
“In many cases, the head of household is discouraged by the increase and will do what it takes to reduce their family’s rent burden, including turning down a raise, working fewer hours, or quitting their job altogether,” Russell said.
A version of this article previously appeared on The Daily Caller News Foundation website.
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