Between ordering an expensive dining set for his office, referring to slaves as “immigrants,” and trying to make sure that homeless shelters aren’t too comfortable to discourage people from staying for too long, Ben Carson has been doing a lot of interesting things as Trump’s Housing and Urban Development Secretary. The same goes for the former brain surgeon’s newest idea, which according to the Washington Post, involves tripling the rent on low-income Americans who receive housing subsidies.
Carson’s new proposal, which requires congressional approval, appears to be part of an administration-wide move toward work requirements for recipients of welfare and affordable healthcare. If enacted, the new changes would affect over 4.5 million families who are receiving federal housing assistance:
Tenants generally pay 30 percent of their adjusted income toward rent or a public housing agency minimum rent — which is capped at $50 a month for the poorest families. The administration’s legislative proposal sets the family monthly rent contribution at 35 percent of gross income or 35 percent of their earnings working 15 hours a week at the federal minimum wage. Under the proposal, the cap for the poorest families would rise to approximately $150 a month, three times higher than the current minimum.
HUD is also preparing to slash the number of deductions tenants would be able to use in order to reduce their rent costs, including deductions for healthcare and child-care expenses. If Carson’s proposal is picked up, it’s likely that more and more progressive cities will consider businesses taxes — like the one currently being debated in Seattle — aimed at combating homelessness, the lack of affordable housing, and other socioeconomic ills formerly presided over by the federal government.
(Via Washington Post)