The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has unveiled a plan that could raise rents for millions of people who get federal housing assistance. The U.S. Congress has begun deliberating the proposal, and that has people who get assistance from HUD waiting anxiously to find out whether changes are coming and what that might mean for them.
Currently, most people who receive housing assistance pay 30 percent of their adjusted income toward rent – that’s their annual income, minus certain deductions that HUD allows. One of HUD’s proposals is to raise the baseline rent to 35 percent of residents’ gross income, meaning no deductions are factored in. HUD also wants to give housing authorities across the nation the power to impose new work requirements on residents. The proposal still requires congressional approval. HUD Secretary Ben Carson says the changes would create a simpler, more transparent way of calculating rents.