Raising Rents and Work Requirements Will Increase Homelessness

The Trump Administration and Congress Should Support and Fund Increased Rental Assistance to End Homelessness – Not by Raising Rents and Work Requirements

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) published a factsheet on two separate proposals from the Trump administration and Representative Dennis Ross (R-FL), both of which would raise rents on vulnerable households. CBPP’s analysis finds that these proposals to increase rents and impose work requirements would force more people currently receiving rental assistance – including families with children, people with disabilities, seniors, and other vulnerable populations – into homelessness.

The proposed legislation from both the Trump administration and Representative Ross would raise rents on nearly all households receiving HUD rental assistance and allow public housing authorities to impose harmful and administratively burdensome work requirements. Slashing federal housing benefits would leave even more low-income people without stable homes, making it harder for them to climb the economic ladder and live with dignity.

Research shows that when people have stable, decent, and accessible homes they can afford, they are better able to find employment, achieve economic mobility, age in place, perform better in school, and maintain improved health. CBPP’s factsheet provides additional information on how these specific proposals would reduce the effectiveness of rental assistance for ending homelessness by leaving HUD-assisted households without enough money to cover rent and other necessities.

Rental assistance has proven to be critical in preventing and ending homelessness. New Jersey and the rest of the United States faces a housing affordability crisis. When housing is un-affordable, households need assistance to afford rental homes.

The National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) is one of the groups that opposes proposals to raise rents in federal affordable housing programs. “An estimated 1.4 million people stayed in a U.S. emergency shelter in 2016, and that’s not including people who stayed on the street. Many people also live at imminent risk of living on the streets or in shelters, including tens of thousands of children whose families live doubled up with other families. Instead of promoting policies that make rent un-affordable for some of the lowest-income and most vulnerable households, the Trump Administration should support — and Congress should fund — increased rental assistance.”

CBPP is a nonpartisan research and policy institute. CBPP pursues federal and state policies designed both to reduce poverty and inequality and to restore fiscal responsibility in equitable and effective ways. It applies its deep expertise in budget and tax issues and in programs and policies that help low-income people, in order to help inform debates and achieve better policy outcomes.

CBPP Factsheet

NLIHC’s Factsheet on the Ross Proposal

NLIHC’s Factsheet on the Trump Proposal

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