HUD Secretary Carson Testifies Adds Obstacles to Fair Housing

HUD Secretary Carson Looks to Impose Work Requirements, Increase Rent, and More

On June 27, 2018, the House Financial Services Committee held a hearing “Oversight of the Department of Housing and Urban Development” where HUD Secretary Carson spoke. The hearing covered a variety of topics including HUD’s proposals to impose work requirements, increase rents, in addition to the topics of fair housing and disaster recovery.

Many lawmakers opposed HUD’s proposals to increase rents and impose work requirements on people receiving housing assistance. HUD plans to triple the minimum rent from $50/month to $150/month. In addition, the proposals would eliminate deductions for healthcare and childcare.

According to HUD Secretary Carson, “not many people” would be affected by tripling the minimum rent. Later, he admitted almost 470,000 people with extremely low incomes would be severely impacted.

HUD Secretary Carson described work requirements for federally subsidized housing as a way to get people out of subsidized housing. He continues to push for work requirements despite recent indications that HUD is backing down on the proposals.

Committee Ranking Member U.S. Representative Maxine Waters (D-CA-43) stated that the justifications to increase rent were not valid. HUD Secretary Carson initially said his proposals were to make individuals more self-sufficient but, later backtracked, saying the rent increases would no longer be necessary since HUD received increased funding from the bipartisan budget agreement.

Lawmakers are also concerned the HUD’s actions undermine the Fair Housing Act, specifically its decision to suspend the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Rule. Despite HUD Secretary Carson claiming, “all discrimination is serious,” he offered no plans to combat this type of discrimination.

U.S. Representative Ann Wagner (R-MO-2) spoke about the need for comprehensive housing recovery efforts. Carson agrees that the Community Development Block Grant- Disaster Recovery (CDGB-DR) should be codified into law.

If you are passionate about preserving the Fair Housing Act, you should attend the July 25th, a Congressional Reception will be held at the Dirksen Senate Auditorium in Washington D.C. This event will allow New Jersey residents who are working poor, below the poverty line and or impacted by homelessness to urge their elected officials in Washington to make No Cuts to Housing and remind them that Opportunity Starts at Home.

We know that by joining together and amplifying our voices, we can have an impact on the decisions that are made in Washington DC. Join Monarch Housing Associates and our 35 partners from New Jersey to make the case that homelessness is a solvable problem. The federal government must be a full partner in ensuring an adequate breadth of services are available to prevent children, people with disabilities, the elderly, and all of our neighbors in NJ from experiencing the homelessness.

Register today to attend the Congressional Reception. Everyone needs to register even if you are traveling on your own.

Click here for more information about the Congressional Reception.

You can also follow @OppStartsatHome in order to learn more about the National Low Income Housing Coalition’s Opportunity Starts at Home Campaign.

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