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HUD rent increase and work requirements

Should housing subsidies be treated like "welfare" or as an entitlement like foodstamps, EITC, or Social Security/SSI?
under construction, thanks for your patience

 Dr. Ben Carson's proposal is an organizer's dream
     Many tenants and advocates have seen or heard about Dr. Ben Carson's proposal to raise HUD housing rents and slap on work requirements for HUD tenants. Now's the time to use this mis-step to unite tenants and advocates around true housing reform. Never let a crisis go to waste!
   Nothing hits the heart of a tenant like a rent increase. The trick is to use the threat of a rent increase and involuntary servitude to bring tenants into civic action. This blatant attack on housing assistance is an opportunity to flip the script from making tenants pay more to expanding housing assistance. Local organizers and leaders can lead the way.
     Step one. Make sure everyone knows what's going on. This proposal has been kicking around Congress long before Dr. Ben Carson gave up brain surgery. Raising HUD rents is hot now because Republicans need cover with their voters. Republican tax cuts have zoomed the Federal deficit as they face reelection campaigns. Tenants can use word of mouth and social media to make the connection. Start today by putting a link to this video on your Facebook page or sending it to your email contacts. 
     Step two. Select a target. In Ohio, targets are everywhere. Any elected official who voted for the Trump tax cuts and anyone who's running for office with President Trump's support needs to be held accountable. They will be out in your communities asking for support. Boxer Joe Louis (almost) said "they can run, but they can't hide."
     Step three. Use "hit and run" tactics that dramatize the contradiction between tax cuts for the rich and rent increases for the poor. Keep the message fresh to keep people interested. Use the mass media to educate "the public." Activities that engage ordinary tenants reinforce the message and keep your grassroots growing. "Don't be boring!" Real people's voices are better than charts and graphs.
     Step four: Offer alternatives that make sense. You can't beat something with nothing. Right now Federal Housing assistance only benefits 1/3 of eligible households so why not make Housing vouchers like foodstamps--you get it when you need it. How about advocating for a renter tax credit that pays a monthly dividend to every low income household? Advocacy organizations can help shape these proposals so they are easy to understand and explain.
     The good news is that the Carson proposal (Making Affordable Housing Work Act of 2018) won't happen until it is approved by Congress and that won't happen this year. The 2019 budget is pretty much set thanks to last year's budget agreement and Congresspeople won't be hanging around DC in an election year--they will be where you live! There's time to shape the next Congress at the polls. VREM = "Voter registration, education and mobilization."
     Here's the other good thing. Tenants don't need to be trained or coached to understand the issue. They know how rent increases will affect their household budgets. All they have to do is tell their stories and offer an alternative. 
     Finding allies will be important, but tenants need to lead the effort. Think about the other grassroots movements that are going on right now. High school students around the country are in the streets, at political rallies and in the state legislatures protesting gun violence. Public school teachers, parents and students are fighting for educational funding in West Virginia, Arizona and Colorado. Women across the country are telling their stories about harassment and exploitation in the workplace through #metoo.
     When your community is ready to mount a campaign for more housing assistance, RHINO can help with brainstorming, finding resources and contacts, and shaping tactics. Write to
posted April 29, 2018

On April 25, 2018, HUD Secretary Dr. Ben Carson announced proposed legislation to increase HUD tenants rents and impose work requirements
Update 5/1/18 Carson’s HUD rent hike is a fix in search of a problem

History of the Brooke Amendment
In seeking to increase HUD rents, Republican elected officials are turning their backs on their legacy. Republican Senator Brooke pioneered the percentage of income formula that bears his name and a Republican dominated Congress enacted this requirement in 1969 under President Nixon.

Work Requirements for HUD tenants?
Those who can work are working already.

Housing Assistance should be an entitlement!

What's News?

The nation’s almost 21 million cost-burdened renter households are not just low-income or unemployed. Rather, as the Joint Center documented in its latest America’s Rental Housing report (and accompanying interactive tools), a growing number of moderate-income and fully-employed renter households are also cost-burdened, spending at least 30 percent of their income on rent and other housing costs."
Practice Area: Advocate
Hot issue: Affordable
Keywords: JCHS
Posted: July 6, 2018

"The House Financial Services Committee held a hearing on June 27, 'Oversight of the Department of Housing and Urban Development,' with HUD Secretary Ben Carson as the sole witness. The hearing covered a broad range of topics, including HUD’s proposals to increase rents and impose work requirements, as well as disaster recovery, fair housing, and lead hazards in public housing. Lawmakers expressed opposition to HUD’s proposals to increase rents and impose work requirements on people receiving housing assistance. The administration’s proposals would triple the minimum rent from $50 to $150, and would eliminate income deductions for healthcare and childcare. Secretary Carson repeatedly stated that 'not many people' would be affected by tripling the minimum rent, although he later admitted that nearly 470,000 people, all of whom have extremely low incomes, would be impacted by the change. Secretary Carson described work requirements for assisted housing residents as a means for getting people out of subsidized housing. The secretary maintained that HUD would continue to push for work requirements and rent increases despite recent indications the department was backing down on the proposals."
Want to do something about proposed HUD rent increases? Our Homes, Our Votes webinar.
Practice Area: Advocate
Hot issue: HUD Rent Increases
Keywords: HUD, rent increase, work requirements, Dr. Ben Carson
Posted July 3, 2018

"202,300 Ohio households will see an average increase of  $740 per year. Even if your program participants aren't getting HUD rental assistance, they know someone, a loved one, who is."

 Notes & Links