Housing and Urban Affairs Secretary Ben Carson has asked for Congress's approval to hike rents on people living in federally subsidized housing, with a planned increase of more than 300%; he claims the rent hikes will incentivize public housing tenants to seek work.
But the data shows that 74% of public housing tenants are already in full-time work; and the remainder are primarily retirees or people with disabilities.
Under the plan, individuals who are over the age of 65 or are disabled will be exempt from the rent increases for six years, though they could start seeing incremental raises within three years, according to Will Fischer of CBPP. Nationwide, seniors and disabled people make up more than half of the 4.7 million families who receive federal subsidies, HUD officials have said.
The proposal is currently in draft form; to advance the plan, HUD must next ask a member of Congress to formally introduce it as a bill.
In a recent interview with Fox News, Carson said the plan marks the administration’s effort to “give poor people a way out of poverty.”
Some conservatives have hailed Carson’s strategy as more effective than the current system.
“Efficient welfare gives aid, but it also tries to stimulate positive behavior,” Robert Rector of the Heritage Foundation previously told The Washington Post. “We’re not rewarding non-work, which is what traditional welfare does.”
Ben Carson says he’s raising rents to put poor Americans to work. But in the District, the majority are either elderly, disabled or already at work. [Hannah Natanson/Washington Post]
(via Naked Capitalism)
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