Ben Carson Wants The Poor To Pay More For Government Housing Assistance
Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson has proposed a plan that increased the amount of money low-income households would have to pay toward rent before the government was permitted to provide aid.
Carson believes that the current HUD aid system, which is used by 4.5 million people, doesn’t encourage people to work toward earning enough money to get off the program. The proposal — called the Make Affordable Housing Work Act — is part of the Trump administration’s goal of pushing employment as an end goal of anti-poverty programs.
The new plan would increase rent for millions of families, as they would have to pay 35% of rent instead of 30% to qualify.
Carson’s lavish spending for $130,000 dining set for his office has drawn rebukes from Congress, but he has managed to maintain his job so far.
Carson said the new plan is in response to the fact that the amount of money that goes toward supporting families on the current HUD program increases every year while it still serves the same amount of families.
“The way we calculate the level of assistance to our families is archaic and has perverse consequences, like discouraging these residents from earning more income,” Carson told reporters. “It’s clear from a budget perspective and from a human standpoint that this is not sustainable.”
However, the plan is not popular among some housing advocates.
“Despite claims that these harmful proposals will increase ‘self-sufficiency,’ rent hikes, de facto time limits, and arbitrary work requirements will only leave more people without stable housing, making it harder for them to climb the economic ladder,” Diane Yentel, the president and CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition, said in a statement to Politico. “Proposing these changes under the guise of saving the government money, just months after giving massive tax breaks to wealthy people and corporations, is the height of cruel hypocrisy.”
Carson’s new plan would allow public housing agencies to establish minimum work requirements for those on the HUD program, even those with disabilities or who are above 65 years of age. Additionally, recipients’ incomes would be checked every three years instead of annually.