Poor Americans who live in public housing might have to pay more for rent soon. That's part of what Housing Secretary Ben Carson is proposing.
"The system that we have in place now is not sustainable," Carson said, referring to the need for fiscal responsibility.
He argues that his reform will encourage self-sufficiency by motivating people to find jobs and seek higher wages.
"Well, I work so,” Brentara Yancy, lives with her son in public housing in Sarasota, said.
She works part time and says she couldn't afford rent elsewhere.
"Everywhere is so high with the rent prices,” Yancy said. “This one went off what I earn, instead of a flat rent rate."
But if Congress approves Carson's proposal, people like her would have to pay 35 instead of 30 percent of their income.
That rent increase is about six times greater than the growth in average hourly earnings.
When asked about the discrepancy between the rising housing costs and stagnant wages Carson said, "we're not going to push anybody into homelessness. We want to take those people and we want to give them the training the skills, the opportunities so that they don't have to remain as low-income people."
Carson has a plan to create 3,000 'EnVision' Centers, a place for low-income families to get connected with job training, mentorship and health care services.
But the White House did not allocate enough funding for the project, so Carson has turned to the private sector to ask for funding.
Meanwhile, advocates say they welcome the center but the rent increases will hurt the most vulnerable.
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