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Trump plan would raise rent for millions in public housing

WASHINGTON — Millions of families living in federally subsidized public housing would have to pay more for rent under a Trump administration proposal.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development is asking Congress to raise the rent paid by public housing residents to 35 percent of income from the current 30 percent. The plan would also eliminate income deductions that could lower the rent. Elderly and disabled tenants would be exempted.

Rents would be evaluated every three years instead of annually.

HUD Secretary Ben Carson says the changes are necessary to revamp an archaic system that discourages public housing tenants from seeking better paying jobs. But tenants' rights advocates are highly critical, with one calling the plan "a war on low-income people."

The plan, if implemented, would hit the bank accounts of about 1 in 14 New Yorkers. The New York City Housing Authority is the largest public housing authority in North America.

NYCHA officials are reviewing the impact of the proposed legislation, but believe it would negatively impact residents.

"We cannot stand by as Washington continues to target the most vulnerable in our City," a spokeswoman said. "This legislation would be a disaster for low income, vulnerable New Yorkers, who are already struggling to pay their rent every month. This increase would be a devastating new burden, shifting what has traditionally always been a federally subsidized program since the conception of public housing onto those who can least afford it.”