# Ben Carson wants to raise rents on those poor enough to obtain subsidized federal housing

#### southernhybrid

##### Contributor
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2018/04/25/hud-secretary-ben-carson-to-propose-rent-increases-for-low-income-americans-receiving-federal-housing-subsidies/?utm_term=.0bd844567159

U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson on Wednesday will propose tripling the amount low-income households are expected to pay for rent as well as require those receiving housing subsidies to work, according to the administration’s legislative proposal obtained by The Washington Post.

The move to overhaul how low-income rental subsidies are calculated would affect more than 4.5 million families relying on federal housing assistance. The proposal legislation would require congressional approval.

Currently, tenants generally pay 30 percent of their adjusted income toward rent or a public housing agency minimum rent not to exceed $50. The administration’s legislative proposal sets the family monthly rent contribution at 35 percent of gross income or 35 percent of their earnings by working 15 hours a week at the federal minimum wage -- or approximately$150 a month, three times higher than the current minimum.

The Trump administration has long signaled through its budget proposals and leaked draft legislation that it seeks to increase the rents low-income tenants pay to live in federally subsidized housing.

So, the pitiful minimum wage hasn't been increased since 2009, despite about 9% overall inflation since that year, but it's time to triple the rent on the poorest people, who reside in federal subsidized housing. I guess Carson wants to increase the size of the homeless population. What other explanation could there be for this misguided cruel idea?

#### funinspace

##### Don't Panic
Pfffft...let them eat their 401k

#### Jimmy Higgins

Typical liberal whining. This is easily solved by adding roommates. So just triple the number of people in an apartment and it is back to $50. Problem solved! #### Derec ##### Contributor So how much are they paying now for a$700 apartment?

And what do you guys expect? That Trump will nominate Jimmy McMillan as next HHS secretary.

Last edited:

#### Loren Pechtel

##### Super Moderator
Staff member
While I agree this is a scummy move this is a percentage so whatever has or has not happened to minimum wage has no bearing on it.

#### Don2 (Don1 Revised)

##### Contributor
This affects the poorest of the poor. Typically these people are on welfare or social security and therefore have a fixed minimal income. They also have to pay other bills, like groceries and utilities. Which other bills should they stop paying? Would they rather get kicked out, lose electricity, go to jail, or starve.

I'm just thinking back to when I was 10. An acquaintance came over. He opened up the fridge in our apartment and saw a single apple on a shelf, nothing else. Then he laughed and told everyone about it. Sure, we had an apartment, were not homeless at that time, and had a fridge. But that rent subsidy difference of $100 could fill or empty the fridge. Where is it coming from? What will it do to people? #### southernhybrid ##### Contributor While I agree this is a scummy move this is a percentage so whatever has or has not happened to minimum wage has no bearing on it. While it's true that there isn't a direct correlation between the wage and this potential policy change, my point is that the minimum wage no longer keeps up with inflation, and that makes it even more difficult for the poorest workers to be able to pay a lot more than what they currently pay for rent. You may think that few adults currently works for the minimum wage, but here in Georgia, that's not true. The job I recently left only paid the aides slightly above the minimum wage and didn't give raises to their employees, other than a few that were there for years and asked for a raise. The raise was never more than 30 cents an hour. The minimum wage would be much higher if it had kept up with inflation, like it did in the past. That's the only reason I mentioned that. #### Jimmy Higgins ##### Contributor While I agree this is a scummy move this is a percentage so whatever has or has not happened to minimum wage has no bearing on it. As long as there has been no inflation since the last minimum wage, I'd agree. #### Playball40 ##### Veteran Member And what of those that CAN'T work? The elderly or disabled? Those that can't even get MW jobs due to some stupid record of pot possession when they were 19? If they don't work, they lose their housing? Are they carved out of this 'proposal' ? I have no problem with raising the fee IF AND ONLY IF, we also enact Bernie Saunder's plan of guaranteed jobs (you know the one the GOP is bitching about because it might force PRIVATE COMPANIES to raise their wages to stay competitive?). This should not apply to anyone on disability or the elderly. #### Loren Pechtel ##### Super Moderator Staff member And what of those that CAN'T work? The elderly or disabled? Those that can't even get MW jobs due to some stupid record of pot possession when they were 19? If they don't work, they lose their housing? Are they carved out of this 'proposal' ? I have no problem with raising the fee IF AND ONLY IF, we also enact Bernie Saunder's plan of guaranteed jobs (you know the one the GOP is bitching about because it might force PRIVATE COMPANIES to raise their wages to stay competitive?). This should not apply to anyone on disability or the elderly. The ones that are really hurt aren't the ones who can't work (they usually get disability) but those sufficiently marginal that they can't get work. SSI/SSDI only looks at if there's any job you can do, not whether there's a job you can actually get hired at. #### Malintent ##### Veteran Member While I agree this is a scummy move this is a percentage so whatever has or has not happened to minimum wage has no bearing on it. The relevance is that to make the argument that it is time to raise the cost of housing because it hasn't increased in a while, creates the argument that it is time to increase the minimum wage because it hasn't increased in a while. That 9% figure (alleged cost of living increase since last change to minimum wage - or the housing thing) is just a means to ballpark a reasonable target for the change. #### Axulus ##### Veteran Member This affects the poorest of the poor. Typically these people are on welfare or social security and therefore have a fixed minimal income. They also have to pay other bills, like groceries and utilities. Which other bills should they stop paying? Would they rather get kicked out, lose electricity, go to jail, or starve. I'm just thinking back to when I was 10. An acquaintance came over. He opened up the fridge in our apartment and saw a single apple on a shelf, nothing else. Then he laughed and told everyone about it. Sure, we had an apartment, were not homeless at that time, and had a fridge. But that rent subsidy difference of$100 could fill or empty the fridge. Where is it coming from? What will it do to people?

It won't affect welfare or social security recipients unless their monthly income is below $450/month, which is uncommon. It will affect people with essentially no source of income whatsoever. I didn't even realize there were individuals that qualify for$50/month housing but can not qualify for social security or disability. How does that even work?

#### Loren Pechtel

##### Super Moderator
Staff member
It won't affect welfare or social security recipients unless their monthly income is below $450/month, which is uncommon. It will affect people with essentially no source of income whatsoever. I didn't even realize there were individuals that qualify for$50/month housing but can not qualify for social security or disability. How does that even work?

Those who are technically able to work but not well enough for anyone to hire them.

#### southernhybrid

##### Contributor
This affects the poorest of the poor. Typically these people are on welfare or social security and therefore have a fixed minimal income. They also have to pay other bills, like groceries and utilities. Which other bills should they stop paying? Would they rather get kicked out, lose electricity, go to jail, or starve.

I'm just thinking back to when I was 10. An acquaintance came over. He opened up the fridge in our apartment and saw a single apple on a shelf, nothing else. Then he laughed and told everyone about it. Sure, we had an apartment, were not homeless at that time, and had a fridge. But that rent subsidy difference of $100 could fill or empty the fridge. Where is it coming from? What will it do to people? It won't affect welfare or social security recipients unless their monthly income is below$450/month, which is uncommon. It will affect people with essentially no source of income whatsoever. I didn't even realize there were individuals that qualify for $50/month housing but can not qualify for social security or disability. How does that even work? The only government cash program these days for those who don't qualify for SS, or SSI come from TANF, ( temporary aide to needy families ) and the maximum benefit for a family of two is less than 300 dollars a month, so there are single parents with one child, who do make less than 500 a month. There are also people who get less than 500 a month from SS. This is common among low income folks who never paid into Social Security for more than 10 or 15 years. I've known a few like that. If they are disabled or over 62, they might qualify for SSI, which brings the total monthly income up to around 6 or 700 dollars. These folks are not all that uncommon. The other thing is that, at least in most states, you can't have assets worth more than 2000 dollars, to qualify for most of these programs. TANF is only available to families where one parent is not in the home, or one parent has recently left the work force. The total income for the family must be below 1000/per month for a family of 3 in order to qualify. If there is no other income besides TANF, that does leave some families well below the 450 a month limit. The aide is temporary and job training is also a part of the program. TANF replaced the former welfare programs back in the 90s so it's always surprising to me that a lot of people don't realize this. There is usually a five year lifetime limit on how long one can receive benefits. I think it was sometimes extended during the worst years of the "great recession." I've worked with a lot of very poor people and believe me there is no incentive to go on TANF, if you can get a job. Desperate people are the ones that usually apply for aide from TANF. If I left anything out, you can look up the details on the Department of Human Services site. Anyway, the bottom line is that if your total income is 400 a month and you've been paying 50 a month for rent, Carson wants to raise it to 150 a month. Even if SNAP isn't counted in the total, that's very little left over to try and survive on, especially if you have school age children. And before someone starts going on about how these women shouldn't have had any children, it would certainly help if agencies like Planned Parenthood and local Public Health Departments were fully funded. Women who are educated have fewer children and poor women who have access to free or low cost birth control tend to have fewer children. But, having known many, very poor women over the course of my life, I know that being a parent is sometimes that only thing that gives these women a sense of worth and purpose. I don't feel it's my place to judge them. Carson can't do this without Congressional approval, but considering our current Congressional leadership, it just might be implemented. #### Don2 (Don1 Revised) ##### Contributor This affects the poorest of the poor. Typically these people are on welfare or social security and therefore have a fixed minimal income. They also have to pay other bills, like groceries and utilities. Which other bills should they stop paying? Would they rather get kicked out, lose electricity, go to jail, or starve. I'm just thinking back to when I was 10. An acquaintance came over. He opened up the fridge in our apartment and saw a single apple on a shelf, nothing else. Then he laughed and told everyone about it. Sure, we had an apartment, were not homeless at that time, and had a fridge. But that rent subsidy difference of$100 could fill or empty the fridge. Where is it coming from? What will it do to people?

It won't affect welfare or social security recipients unless their monthly income is below $450/month, which is uncommon. It will affect people with essentially no source of income whatsoever. I didn't even realize there were individuals that qualify for$50/month housing but can not qualify for social security or disability. How does that even work?

The only government cash program these days for those who don't qualify for SS, or SSI come from TANF, ( temporary aide to needy families ) and the maximum benefit for a family of two is less than 300 dollars a month, so there are single parents with one child, who do make less than 500 a month. There are also people who get less than 500 a month from SS. This is common among low income folks who never paid into Social Security for more than 10 or 15 years. I've known a few like that. If they are disabled or over 62, they might qualify for SSI, which brings the total monthly income up to around 6 or 700 dollars. These folks are not all that uncommon. The other thing is that, at least in most states, you can't have assets worth more than 2000 dollars, to qualify for most of these programs.

TANF is only available to families where one parent is not in the home, or one parent has recently left the work force. The total income for the family must be below 1000/per month for a family of 3 in order to qualify. If there is no other income besides TANF, that does leave some families well below the 450 a month limit. The aide is temporary and job training is also a part of the program. TANF replaced the former welfare programs back in the 90s so it's always surprising to me that a lot of people don't realize this. There is usually a five year lifetime limit on how long one can receive benefits. I think it was sometimes extended during the worst years of the "great recession." I've worked with a lot of very poor people and believe me there is no incentive to go on TANF, if you can get a job. Desperate people are the ones that usually apply for aide from TANF. If I left anything out, you can look up the details on the Department of Human Services site.

Anyway, the bottom line is that if your total income is 400 a month and you've been paying 50 a month for rent, Carson wants to raise it to 150 a month. Even if SNAP isn't counted in the total, that's very little left over to try and survive on, especially if you have school age children. And before someone starts going on about how these women shouldn't have had any children, it would certainly help if agencies like Planned Parenthood and local Public Health Departments were fully funded. Women who are educated have fewer children and poor women who have access to free or low cost birth control tend to have fewer children. But, having known many, very poor women over the course of my life, I know that being a parent is sometimes that only thing that gives these women a sense of worth and purpose. I don't feel it's my place to judge them.

Carson can't do this without Congressional approval, but considering our current Congressional leadership, it just might be implemented.

What a greatly informative post. Thanks for that.

One thing I could say about my own mother was that she had progressive illnesses, both mental and physical. These got worse over time and I think it would be great if people thought about this with an open-mind in terms of fluidity and continua of these things. So, for example, they may have at one time been not severe enough to impede getting a job, but then after a while making it difficult to get a full-time job, then a part-time job, then not being able to work at all. In parallel, but not necessarily aligned which makes it more difficult--not diagnosed medically, to later some medical diagnoses, to some serious diagnoses much, much later. Along the way she may have had children at times when she was working to a degree and had other supports, some moral and some financial, that then were no longer present. She may have thought I'd have some security as her son and then after I was a few years she may have lost some hope as depression, arthritis (even in her 30's) became terribly debilitating. My mother died when she was 55. No one would have predicted that when she was 20 or 30. I was born when she was 22. When I was 10 she was in bed almost all the time but the depression interacted with the medical problems making things worse because she became more depressed and thought she could do less. Anti-depressants made her addicted to them which also caused moodiness. In any case, whatever her personal faults were, beyond her or not, I was just a kid. Society ought to care about such situations and the children who are there through no fault of their own. So when I think about charging that $100, I guess I take it personally, but I imagine others who are like I used to be as a child who will be impacted. I'd like my tax money to go to them, not some of these other crazy programs like the war machine. #### Playball40 ##### Veteran Member People with felony records have a difficult time finding steady work. This affects the poorest of the poor. Typically these people are on welfare or social security and therefore have a fixed minimal income. They also have to pay other bills, like groceries and utilities. Which other bills should they stop paying? Would they rather get kicked out, lose electricity, go to jail, or starve. I'm just thinking back to when I was 10. An acquaintance came over. He opened up the fridge in our apartment and saw a single apple on a shelf, nothing else. Then he laughed and told everyone about it. Sure, we had an apartment, were not homeless at that time, and had a fridge. But that rent subsidy difference of$100 could fill or empty the fridge. Where is it coming from? What will it do to people?

It won't affect welfare or social security recipients unless their monthly income is below $450/month, which is uncommon. It will affect people with essentially no source of income whatsoever. I didn't even realize there were individuals that qualify for$50/month housing but can not qualify for social security or disability. How does that even work?

#### Underseer

##### Contributor
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2018/04/25/hud-secretary-ben-carson-to-propose-rent-increases-for-low-income-americans-receiving-federal-housing-subsidies/?utm_term=.0bd844567159

U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson on Wednesday will propose tripling the amount low-income households are expected to pay for rent as well as require those receiving housing subsidies to work, according to the administration’s legislative proposal obtained by The Washington Post.

The move to overhaul how low-income rental subsidies are calculated would affect more than 4.5 million families relying on federal housing assistance. The proposal legislation would require congressional approval.

Currently, tenants generally pay 30 percent of their adjusted income toward rent or a public housing agency minimum rent not to exceed $50. The administration’s legislative proposal sets the family monthly rent contribution at 35 percent of gross income or 35 percent of their earnings by working 15 hours a week at the federal minimum wage -- or approximately$150 a month, three times higher than the current minimum.

The Trump administration has long signaled through its budget proposals and leaked draft legislation that it seeks to increase the rents low-income tenants pay to live in federally subsidized housing.

So, the pitiful minimum wage hasn't been increased since 2009, despite about 9% overall inflation since that year, but it's time to triple the rent on the poorest people, who reside in federal subsidized housing. I guess Carson wants to increase the size of the homeless population. What other explanation could there be for this misguided cruel idea?

Those tax cuts for the rich won't pay for themselves.

Once all the poor people leave subsidized housing, the landlords will go out of business, then someone else will be able to buy that land on the cheap, sell it to deserving rich elites, and make lots of money. It's a win-win scenario. All the people who matter benefit.