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Rent Increase for Low-Income Alabama Residents in Limbo
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Rent Increase for Low-Income Alabama Residents in Limbo

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Last month, Ben Carson, secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development announced that low-income residents of Alabama might see their yearly rent increase as part of HUD’s new “Making Affordable Housing Work Act.”

Carson now claims that HUD might be backing off the project.

“The reason we had to consider raising rents at all is because we were dealing with a $41 billion budget. And in order to be able to keep from raising rents on the elderly and the disabled, and in order to not displace people who are already being taken care of, that was necessary,” claimed Carson, according to a report by AL.com, a news source in Alabama.

According to reports by Carson, the system used to manage the rents of individuals receiving federal assistance is broken.

“[It] holds back the very people we’re supposed to be helping,” he continued.

Currently, the housing assistance program requires low-income individuals to pay 30% of their gross income to rent payments.

This is in line with the typical rental guidelines. Most realtors recommend that monthly payments for rental properties shouldn’t exceed 30% of their monthly income to guarantee they can make payments on time. When nearly 33% of renters choose to move each year, this is exceedingly important.

However, Carson’s nationwide plan would exceed that limit, requiring low-income residents nationwide to pay 35% of their income in rent.

This would impact tens of thousands of Alabama residents alone. For the over 2 million residents out of the 4.7 million that receive assistance nationwide, their rent could raise up to $800. Those that aren’t impacted consist primarily of elderly and disabled individuals who are not able to work.

According to AL.com, Carson believes this change will encourage able-bodied individuals to seek higher paying jobs and spur them to become more self-sufficient.

The 181,000 people that could be affected by the “Making Affordable Housing Work Act” sit in limbo now that the HUD’s plans to move forward appear to be stalled. According to Carson, this is because the plan is “not urgent” due to recent budget changes.