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HUD Secretary Proposes Steep Rent Increases for Americans in Federally Subsidized Housing

Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson plans to propose rent increases of up to 300 percent for low-income households, the Washington Post reports.

The roughly 4.5 million families that depend on federal housing assistance currently pay 30 percent of their post-tax income or a public-housing agency minimum rent of $50. The proposed legislation would increase the required contribution to $150, or 35 percent of gross income. HUD has also proposed eliminating deductions for medical or childcare costs, under a directive from the White House that those living in federally subsidized housing should "shoulder more of their housing costs and provide an incentive to increase their earnings."

Meanwhile, HUD itself has noted that any family paying more than 30 percent of its income toward housing may be "cost burdened, and may have difficulty affording necessities such as food, clothing, transportation, and medical care."

Carson is expected to provide more details on the proposal ahead of a hearing on reform before the House Financial Services subcommittee today, and any changes to federal housing subsidies will require approval from Congress.