HUD Secretary Ben Carson is backing off plans to triple the minimum rent paid by some of the country’s poorest households, citing Congress’ move to defy the administration and boost his agency’s budget. The proposal to increase the minimum rent paid by rental assistance beneficiaries is no longer “urgent,” due to the additional resources in the HUD budget, Carson said Friday morning.
Carson initially seemed fully on board with the proposal. In a conference call with reporters when it was unveiled late April, he lamented that “every year, it takes more money, millions of dollars more, to serve the same number of households.” He also defended the Trump administration’s proposed budget cuts for his department in an appearance before Senate appropriators in April. The budget, he said, “reflects the fact that we must better serve the American people by tackling our staggering $20.6 trillion national debt.”
Last month Carson defended the triple rent plan with a typically bizarre comment: “It is our attempt to give poor people a way out of poverty.”