ICYMI: Associated Press: HUD plan would raise rents for poor by 20 percent
June 7, 2018
The Trump administration’s policies are making it more difficult for Americans to afford to put a roof over their head. After passing a $1.5 trillion tax bill that overwhelmingly benefits big corporations and the wealthiest Americans, the Trump administration’s latest proposal to raise rents for low-income households would cause millions to pay roughly 20 percent more in rent each year.
Associated Press: Analysis: HUD plan would raise rents for poor by 20 percent
By Juliet Linderman and Larry Fenn
Housing Secretary Ben Carson says his latest proposal to raise rents would mean a path toward self-sufficiency for millions of low-income households across the United States by pushing more people to find work. For Ebony Morris and her four small children, it could mean homelessness.
Morris lives in Charleston, South Carolina, where most households receiving federal housing assistance would see their rent go up an average 26 percent, according to an analysis done by Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and provided exclusively to The Associated Press. But her increase would be nearly double that.
Overall, the analysis shows that in the nation’s 100 largest metropolitan areas, low-income tenants — many of whom have jobs — would have to pay roughly 20 percent more each year for rent under the plan. That rent increase is about six times greater than the growth in average hourly earnings, putting the poorest workers at an increased risk of homelessness because wages simply haven’t kept pace with housing expenses.
“I saw public housing as an option to get on my feet, to pay 30 percent of my income and get myself out of debt and eventually become a homeowner,” said Morris, whose monthly rent would jump from $403 to $600. “But this would put us in a homeless state.”
Charleston, South Carolina is second only to Washington, D.C. in potential dollar increases in rent. In both Charleston and the U.S. housing prices are rapidly outpacing incomes, putting the poorest workers at risk of homelessness. By eliminating subsidies for dependents and childcare costs, rent increases will disproportionately impact families.
Roughly 4 million low-income households receiving HUD assistance would be affected by the proposal. HUD estimates that about 2 million would be affected immediately, while the other 2 million would see rent increases phased in after six years.