Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson is defending his proposal to overhaul HUD programs for low-income housing subsidies that would triple rent for some recipients.
“It is our attempt to give poor people a way out of poverty,” Carson told Fox News in an interview, saying the program’s work requirements and rent spikes will “incentivize people” to get on their feet.
Carson’s proposed 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.
Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La.) has condemned the proposal as the “latest example of the Trump administration’s war on poor people,” calling it “immoral” and “ill advised.”
“I would say it’s just the opposite,” Carson said, saying that his plan will be well received in general, if not by the “hysterical people who are saying, ‘These people hate you and they’re trying to balance the budget on your back and they don’t care.’ “
The proposal, called the Making Affordable Housing Work Act, follows a push from the administration in its 2019 budget to “encourage work and self-sufficiency” for recipients of housing subsidies.
Carson has maintained that the current housing welfare system is “broken” and that the department is “removing all those kinds of perverse disincentives” that keep people entrenched in poverty.
Carson also says the proposal will “incentivize people” with work requirements.
He noted people in Detroit, where he grew up, saying that “they were trapped in a system” and his proposal will help them get out.