WASHINGTON, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA —
Uncle Tom Ben Carson is at it again, it seems. Along with making HUD stipulations more strict, he’s also raising the rent.
According to a Washington Post report — on Wednesday, April 25 — Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson proposed controversial changes to federal housing subsidies.
“There is one inescapable imperative driving this reform effort. The current system isn’t working very well. Doing nothing is not an option.” — Ben Carson
Essentially, Carson submitted a plan which would actually triple rent rates for the economy’s poorest households via the program — simultaneously making it easier for housing authorities to impose work requirements.
"I wish someone would triple my rent so I will be forced to work harder", said no single mother already workin' three jobs.https://t.co/FD6MBKWp4l
— Tea Pain (@TeaPainUSA) April 25, 2018
The source elaborates that HUD officials deem Carson’s initiative would raise rent for tenants in subsidized housing to 35 percent of gross income, or 35 percent of their earnings while working 15 hours a week per federal minimum wage.
The Washington Post notes the current requirement as only 30 percent of a beneficiary’s adjusted income.
Right now, approximately 4.7 million families receive help from HUD. And with Carson’s proposal in place, nearly half would be affected.
Carson mentions that old rules on rent calculations are “far too confusing.” He says they frequently result in families who earn the same income paying largely different rents “because they know how to work the system.”
Reportedly, the source states as follows.
“Carson’s proposals, and other initiatives aimed at low-income Americans receiving federal assistance, amount to a comprehensive effort by the Trump administration and Republicans in Congress to restrict access to the safety net and reduce the levels of assistance for those who do qualify. The ambitious effort to shrink federal assistance has been dubbed ‘Welfare Reform 2.0’, after Bill Clinton’s overhaul of the welfare system in 1996. The proposals — affecting housing, food stamps and Medicaid — would require congressional approval.”
“Every year, it takes more money, millions of dollars more, to serve the same number of households,” Carson mentioned during his proposal. “It’s clear from a budget perspective and a human point of view that the current system is unsustainable.”
Likewise, Carson says only 1 in 4 eligible families receive housing benefits. Everyone else, simply remains on the waiting list for years, possibly never receiving help at all.
Yet, Diane Yentel — president of the National Low Income Housing Coalition — feels otherwise about the proposal.
“When we are in the middle of a housing crisis that’s having the most negative impact on the lowest-income people, we shouldn’t even be considering proposals to increase their rent burdens.”
Those within the coalition call HUD’s ploys “cruel hypocrisy,” especially given the fact the Trump administration has allowed so many tax cuts and breaks for wealthy individuals and corporations.
Also according to the source, Donald Trump signed an executive order earlier this month directing federal agencies to expand work requirements for low-income Americans on Medicaid, food stamps, public housing benefits, and/or welfare.
In addition to that, the source reports that HUD wants to get rid of rules allowing deductions for medical and child-care costs when determining rent.
According to Carson, this gives some tenants an unfair advantage.
“They know how to include certain deductions that other people may not be aware of,” Carson notes. “We really want to level the playing field and make it much more even for everyone.”
This is not the Onion. @RealBenCarson, who recently bought a $31,000 dining set with taxpayer money and lied about it, wants to triple the rent on low-income people in federally subsidized housing. https://t.co/1isey0vMA9
— Matthew Chapman (@fawfulfan) April 25, 2018
On top of this — seems never-ending, right? — the Trump administration has also started allowing states to impose specific work requirements on residents enrolled in Medicaid.
So, really, what’s next?…
All in all, we’d love to know your thoughts about Ben’s proposal. What are your views on the HUD program and its place with low-income families and the economy? If you have any comments, feel free to share them via our Facebook page.
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[Featured Photo via Atlanta Black Star / Twitter]