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The US Dept of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) under the Trump administration is looking to make cuts to the public housing program, ultimately making it far more difficult and expensive to be apart of public housing, perhaps better known as 'Section 8 housing'.
These proposed changes are a long ways a way from being implemented. And its not clear at all if any of these changes will ever fully pass through Congress, but here is what the head of HUD, Ben Carson, is proposing to change:
- Private owners of project-based subsidized properties and public housing authorities would be given the discretion to set standards, through so-called work requirements, on the minimum number of hours that individuals and families must work in order to qualify for federal assistance.
- Tripling of the minimum rent from $50/month to $150/month.
- A change in the way rent is calculated for subsidized housing; instead of paying 30% of your household income after taxes, it would be 35% before taxes, regardless of disability status or age.
- Elimination of income deductions that helps reduce rent for elderly tenants and people with disabilities, such as child care costs or medical costs.
Combined together, these changes are clearly aimed at making a government program that's already incredibly hard to take advantage of even harder. Rents go up a few different ways. More discrimination is allowed. And it seems the folks depending on this program the most, those on a fixed budget without means of being gainfully employed (disabled) will be disproportionately affected the most.
I can't fully decide where I stand on all this. From the way I presented this information, and the cited source I chose, so far I know this reads like I am obviously against these proposals because they make the program worse. And that's true.
I am not for half-assed governmental welfare programs. Proposed cuts like this just put people that are already in a bad spot in a worse spot. I know the incentive is to spend less on welfare overall and cut wherever possible. But shouldn't it be a net positive for the country when you do this? Where is the net gain? Won't this just add more poverty, harder strapped citizens and more desperation to take advantage of other welfare programs?
What I am failing to see when it comes to the Trump administration's many proposals to slash funding to welfare programs is a clear plan to offset the damage it will do to those currently depending on these programs. Where is the offsetting plan?
I agree that as a whole the government needs to simply spend less. In many ways we have created something of an unsustainable monster. But since we are here, and we did this as a country, I don't think the answer is wholesale cuts with no alternative. It's just like wanting to repeal Obamacare without a viable replacement. Sure, make it better. But just to cut the budget without a replacement seems unnecessarily cruel and short sided.
Very curious of a rebuttal to all this. Or what anyone on Section 8/Public Housing thinks of these proposals.