I am compelled to write one more time on the cost of housing. This time, it is focused on recent developments reported from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Early last month, HUD announced it intends to simplify the rent formula, raising the housing burden of families from 30% of household gross income to 35%.
It is their claim lower subsidies would encourage people to find work or search for higher paying jobs, a path towards self-sufficiency. Raising rents does not guarantee that individuals have the skills necessary to obtain higher paying jobs. It just increases pressure on families to try to find a way to pay their bills. Families who are not able to absorb these additional living expenses, will face increased risk of homelessness.
It should be noted, this proposal will need congressional approval. While this article referenced that 8.3 million people will be affected, 3 million of these are children. Let’s hope Congress does their homework and realizes an increase may have negative implications, possible placing our most vulnerable families deeper into poverty.