Trump administration cuts in rent subsidies compound US housing crisis


Trump administration cuts in rent subsidies compound US housing crisis

Kate Randall

6 August 2018

In Washington DC, the nation’s capital, a worker needs to earn $34.48 an hour to afford a two-bedroom rental home. A worker earning the minimum wage in DC, $13.25 an hour, would have to work 91 hours each week to afford a modest one-bedroom apartment at Fair Market Rent.

While DC has the second-highest housing shortage for extremely low-income renters, following Hawaii, no state in the US has an adequate supply of rental housing for this household income group. The stock of affordable housing for extremely low-income households spans a low of 22 per 100 units needed in Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, Florida to a high of only 47 per 100 units needed in Providence-Warwick, Rhode Island.

While rents continue to rise and construction of affordable apartments lags far behind need, the Trump administration is implementing a punitive policy that will only exacerbate the already dire housing crisis facing the working class. This is part of the White House’s war on the poor, which includes attacks on Medicaid, the health insurance program for the poor serving 67 million people, and moves to gut the SNAP food stamp program, serving an estimated 42 million, through the imposition of work requirements and time limits aimed at purging beneficiaries from the rolls.

This year, the Trump administration proposed to slash $8.8 billion from the most important housing programs run by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The administration’s main housing initiative was unveiled this spring by HUD Secretary Ben Carson. His sadistic proposal would triple the minimum rent for subsidized households with an adult younger than 65 from the current $50 to at least…

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