(New York, NY) — Publicly-housed families in New York City could see themselves paying five percent more of their gross income for rent.
“Currently, Congress requires HUD-assisted households to contribute 30 percent of their adjusted income toward rent while the government pays the difference, up to a maximum amount. This approach, with its complicated set of income certification requirements, imposes substantial administrative burdens on PHAs and owners and may suppress residents’ earned income,” said a statement by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which unveiled its proposed Making Affordable Housing Work Act on April 25.
In an April 30 statement, the New York City Housing Authority said that the HUD proposal, which would increase public housing residents’ rent from 30 percent of their gross income to 35 percent, would affect around 55,000 of the agency’s two-unit households, and that over 35,000 publicly housed seniors could experience increased rent costs as well.
HUD’s proposed rent hike comes amid an affordability crisis in New York City and a period of remarkable tumult for NYCHA, which houses around 400,000 people. The agency’s embattled chair, Shola Olatoye, stepped down in early April over the controversy surrounding the lawsuit against the agency by attorney Jim Walden over squalid housing unit conditions.
“We have fallen short in some areas that are frustrating for me, for our residents, and for our city as a whole,” said Olatoye on April 10, when she officially announced her resignation.
“The system we currently use to calculate a family’s rental assistance is broken and holds back the very people we’re supposed to be helping,” said HUD Secretary Ben Carson, regarding the department’s proposal. “Today, we begin a necessary conversation about how we can provide meaningful, dignified assistance to those we serve without hurting them at the same time.”