HUD wants low-income families on housing assistance to pay more to keep a roof over their heads. On Wednesday, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson announced a proposal to raise rent rates for residents who get federal housing assistance. In some cases, Their minimum monthly rent could triple, from $50.00 to $150.00. HUD officials said more than two-million households are expected to be affected by these proposed changes. Critics have said rent increases will cause major financial headaches for those already struggling to get by.
In Montana many families could be affected by the proposal in a negative way.
Shelia Rice the Chair of the Montana Housing Coalition said the HUD program calculates rent of about 30 percent of the households income. Which will help families afford a home. She added if the rates change it could possibly mean those families will become homeless.
KFBB reached out the local hud office, the state hud office and even the regional office in Denver for clarification on how these changes could affect Montanans, unfortunately no one was able to comment.
However that was not the case with Montana Lawmakers in Washington DC.
Democratic Senator Jon Tester sent us this statement,
"Every Montanan should have a roof over their head and that means we need to be making housing more affordable, not less. The Administration’s proposal would harm some of the most vulnerable families across Montana by making affordable housing unaffordable and that’s unacceptable. I will defend Montanans against this harmful proposal and continue fighting to make sure Montana families have place to call home," said Senator Tester.
Senator Steve Daines added his voice to the discussion.
"Taxpayer dollars must be used for those who are most in-need I am closely reviewing the proposed reforms for section eight housing to determine if they would help better direct and preserve the program for the disabled and elderly and those least able to work," said Sen. Daines.
Congressman Greg Giantforte, also weighing in
"I have not seen the details of the proposal, but i believe it's important we have a system where people can climb the ladder of opportunity and rise out of poverty," said Rep. Giantforte.
This is only a proposal and hasn't been enacted by the administration. However, should it move forward it could put many Montanans and Americans across the country out on the streets.