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HUD Ben Carson proposes raising rent for millions living in public housing

Ben Carson the Housing and Urban Development secretary introduced a new proposal Wednesday that would increase rent payments for more than two million people living in public housing.

Keisha Benjamin, who lives inside the Jacob Riis Houses, says it will hurt thousands of New Yorkers just like her who live in public housing right now.

“It’s whether I eat tonight or do I pay my rent or face eviction,” said Benjamin.

The new low income rent reform would require households that receive federal housing assistance to pay 35 percent of their gross income in rent that’s up the current requirement of 30 percent of adjusted income.

The president of the Adams Houses in the Bronx, Ronald Topping, says the idea would be catastrophic for families already struggling.

“Provide less service and they are asking for more money. No one is getting raises. Where is this money coming from?” said Topping.

The proposal is called the Make Affordable Housing Work Act.

It’s just a bill, congress still has to approve.

Councilmember Rafael Salamanca from the Bronx says it’s outrageous.

“Imagine this. I am going to charge you more rent but I’m not going to fix your apartment. Thats unacceptable,” said Salamanca.

A spokesperson for NYCHA tells PIX11:

“We cannot stand by as Washington continues to target the most vulnerable in our City. This legislation would be a disaster for low income, vulnerable New Yorkers, who are already struggling to pay their rent every month.”

Mayor Bill de Blasio gave 20 million dollars to NYCHA and says the money will focus on eliminating a backlog of 50,000 complaints and cut down on wait time for fixes.

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