The Washington Post: HUD Secretary Ben Carson’s proposal to triple rents for poorest households would hurt single mothers the most

The Washington Post, May 1, 2018: HUD Secretary Ben Carson’s proposal to triple rents for poorest households would hurt single mothers the most 

The proposal by Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson to at least triple the minimum rent that the poorest Americans pay for federally subsidized housing would put nearly 1 million children at risk of homelessness, according to an analysis of HUD data by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP).

Under current rules, families that receive housing subsidies typically pay 30 percent of their income for rent. Public housing agencies can instead charge a minimum rent of up to $50 a month. Carson’s proposal, if approved by Congress, would raise that monthly minimum rent to $150.

The typical household affected by the minimum rent increase would be a single mother of two, earning a median income of $2,400 a year — or $200 a month, Sard said. After paying $150 for rent, that would leave just $50 to stretch for the month for diapers, toiletries, bus fare and other necessities not covered by food stamps. About 460,000 households headed by single mothers would be impacted, Sard said.

“Suddenly tripling anyone’s rent is unacceptable. It’s especially appalling that Secretary Carson wants to do so on people already living in extreme poverty,” said Diane Yentel, president of the National Low Income Housing Coalition. “Attempting to balance our federal budget at the expense of the poorest and most vulnerable people is abhorrent.”

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