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Proposed rent increases for subsidized housing worries low-income families

Posted at 6:43 PM, Apr 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-30 18:43:38-04

FORT MYERS, Fla. - Thousands of people live in government subsidized housing in Lee county. Low-income families should monitor the talks of rent spikes that are taking place in Washington.

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson wants to raise the minimum rent in order to offset the cost the government spends on programs like Section 8.

Talks of these proposed spikes to rent are nothing new. Marcus Goodson is the executive director for HUD in Fort Myers. He thinks it is a conversation that needs to be weighed carefully.

"There's some in the industry that agree there should be an increase to offset the cost of these units," Goodson told 4 In Your Corner.

Goodson worries families like Shaqueda Hamilton's will have trouble paying the possible $75 to $100 increase in rent.

"I just think that if this happens, there's going to be more homeless and hungry people," Hamilton said.

Hamilton has monitored the proposed changes. She has sent letters to Governor Rick Scott's office.

"I've written to a couple places, but they're all in support of President Trump's bill cuts. I support them too, but let's be fair to everyone," Hamilton said.

Goodson said single mothers and seniors would be hit hardest.

"If you change that and increase a family's rent by $75 to $100, where is that money going to come from," Goodson asked. "They're not going to get a raise from their job to cover that," he added.

Goodson wants to remind the families his office serves to not panic. He advises them to keep track of the talks because the proposed changes are still in the discussion phase.

"Try not to be caught off guard. You need to be informed as possible," Goodson said. "If we get the directive from Washington, we have to implement it locally," he added.