Study: HUD proposal would raise rents for poor by 20 percent

Study: HUD proposal would raise rents for poor by 20 percent
© Greg Nash

A plan being pushed by Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben CarsonBenjamin (Ben) Solomon CarsonHousing authorities raise concerns about Trump plan to evict undocumented immigrants Housing authorities raise concerns about Trump plan to evict undocumented immigrants Moulton confirms he'll miss first Democratic debate MORE would raise rents on Americans receiving federal assistance by 20 percent on average in metropolitan areas around the country, according to a new study.

The analysis from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), obtained by The Associated Press, found that rent for low-income tenants in the nation's 100 largest cities would increase by an average of 20 percent under Carson's plan, which HUD has touted as a path out of poverty for poorer Americans.

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The rent hike, however, is estimated to be on average six times greater than the average growth in hourly wages, meaning that thousands of Americans could find themselves at risk of homelessness under the plan.

“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 one Charleston, S.C. resident who would see her rent jump from $403 to $600. “But this would put us in a homeless state.”

HUD estimates that about 4 million Americans would be affected by Carson's plan, 2 million immediately and another 2 million over the next few years. Carson has billed the plan as an incentive to drive lower-income Americans, many of whom already have jobs, to work.

“It’s our attempt to give poor people a way out of poverty,” Carson told Fox News.

CBPP senior policy analyst Will Fischer told the AP that there was "no evidence" to support Carson's belief that higher rents cause lower-income Americans to work more.