WASHINGTON, DC – After U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson announced a plan to triple the rent for many families living in federally subsidized public housing, U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), the Ranking Member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development (THUD), issued the following statement:
“The Trump Administration seems intent on cutting resources for affordable housing and increasing rent burdens on low-income Americans.
“First, President Trump called for slashing $11.5 billion from HUD in 2019, a 22 percent reduction from fiscal year 2018, and now Secretary Carson has outlined a plan to essentially evict thousands of poor families from HUD-assisted housing. Both ideas would hurt families and communities.
“Secretary Carson’s latest rent increase proposal is ill-conceived and ill-advised.
“The combined impact of the increases in mandatory minimum rent, income thresholds, and the change from adjusted gross to gross income for non-elderly and non-disabled households would make things even harder for people who are already struggling. It would take money away from other basic necessities, like food, heat, and health care.
“If this plan were enacted it could be the difference between a working mother maintaining child care or becoming homeless.
“Even after rolling this proposal out, HUD is still unable to provide Congress with data on the impact of these rent increases at the national or local level, and cannot quantify the fiscal year 2019 or outward year savings. That is unacceptable and Congress should not move forward until we get some answers to these basic questions.
“Instead of just shifting greater burdens to struggling families, we should be working on a bipartisan basis to provide the necessary funding for the bricks and mortar that give people – including homeless veterans and elderly neighbors -- a modest place to call home. The Trump Administration’s proposal would not give these families any real chance at improved economic or health outcomes.
“Affordable housing is a necessity to growing our economy. In too many communities, there’s too little housing available or what’s available is costly due to scarcity. It’s a worry for families and employers alike. This proposal is the exact opposite of what we should be doing.
“I will continue working on a bipartisan basis to make smart federal investments that create more affordable housing opportunities, spur job creation, and stabilize communities. And I will strongly oppose plans that will leave more families out on the streets.”