• HUD proposal could triple rent for Memphians in public housing

    By: Jeremy Pierre


    People who receive housing assistance from the federal government could see their rent tripled under a proposal released by The Department of Housing and Urban Development.

    According to the Associated Press, the plan would raise rent for public housing residents from 30 percent to 35 percent. It would also eliminate all deductions that are used to lower that number.

    It could as much as triple rent payments for some people who are on government assistance.

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    In addition, the proposed plan would set work and job training requirements for those receiving assistance.

    HUD said the plan will promote employment and will eventually get people off government assistance.
    Local poverty experts disagree. One who spoke with FOX13 said this will only increase poverty in cities – like Memphis – that are already struggling with poverty.

    Dr. Elena Delavega told FOX13 the federal government is preparing to make the struggle harder for people already living in poverty. 

     “A lot of people are not receiving assistance and we are cutting it even more,” Dr. Delavega of the University of Memphis said.

    This week, the Department of Housing and Urban Development announced the new proposal. It calls for people who receive government living assistance to put more of their income toward rent payments.
    It could as much as triple rent payments for some people who are on assistance.

    Delavega told FOX13 the plan is meant to get people out of poverty, but it won’t.

    “That’s a tremendous increase. For a lot of people, that makes a difference in being able to eat, being able to pay the rent and staying in their homes,” she said.

    The HUD plan would also require work and job training requirements in order for people to continue receiving assistance. 

    “The biggest problem is that we don’t have the jobs. At $7.25 an hour, people are still poverty,” Dr. Delavega explained.

    The plan must be passed by Congress to become reality.

    Dr. Delavega said if the proposal did pass, it would be detrimental for a lot of families in Memphis. 

    “I would like to point out in Memphis, even though we have the extreme poverty rate, we have only two percent of families are getting welfare and receiving food stamps,” she said.

    If passed, the requirements would not affect people who are disabled – or people 65 and older.

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