In defense of his decision to triple of the rent of some Americans receiving federal housing assistance, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson said the move will help low-income individuals escape poverty.
"It is our attempt to give poor people a way out of poverty," Carson told Fox News in an interview, saying the program's work requirements and rent spikes will "incentivize people" to get on their feet.
Carson’s proposal would see recipients of assistance putting 35 percent of their income toward housing costs, up from the current 30 percent, with the requirement that the money come from at least 15 hours of work at a minimum wage job.
Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La.) has condemned the proposal as the “latest example of the Trump administration’s war on poor people," calling it "immoral" and "ill advised."
But Carson disagrees:
“I would say it’s just the opposite,” Carson said, saying that his plan will be well received in general, if not by the "hysterical people who are saying, 'These people hate you and they're trying to balance the budget on your back and they don't care.' "
Carson said the system is broken, and he is simply "removing all those kinds of perverse disincentives” that hinder people from raising themselves out of poverty.