City Leaders Discuss the Proposed Affordable Housing Work Act

Duluth city leaders speaking out Wednesday believe the proposed bill would affect over 900 households in Duluth.

DULUTH, Minn.- Duluth city leaders gathered discussing how the Affordable Housing Work Act 2018 proposed bill could potentially affect the area if passed.

The Trump administration’s making Affordable Housing Work Act 2018 proposal aims to increase the minimum rent paid by low–income households. It’s estimated over than two million people would be affected by the increase nationwide. The proposal still needs to make its way through Congress.

Duluth city leaders speaking out Wednesday believe the proposed bill would affect over 900 households in Duluth. The Act could change some rules for able-bodied working Americans who rely on HUD for housing assistance. For low–income households rent would increase from 30 percent to 35 percent of their income, also eliminating deductions for medical and childcare expenses.

City officials say that means some families currently paying $50 per month in rent would have to pay $150 instead. The Duluth Housing Redevelopment Authority believes if passed, the bill would affect nearly 50  percent of their renters negatively.

“You can’t incent someone by forcing them to pay more for rent, you have to give them tools, so that they are able to get those family supporting wage jobs,” Duluth Housing and Redevelopment Authority director Jill Keppers said.

The bill would also allow Public Housing Agencies to establish minimum work requirements for individuals or families receiving rental assistance.

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson says these reforms are definitely needed to ensure help goes to the right people.

These changes would exempt individuals 65 and older, previously 62–years–olds qualified. A representative for Congressman Rick Nolan says the proposal is immoral and an injustice, calling it an attack on homes. The proposal wouldn’t affect the elderly and disabled for another six years, then raising rent for those groups to at least $50 a month. Currently, their rent varies case by case.

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