HUD Secretary Carson: 11 million American households remain “severely burdened”

More than 50% of income goes to housing

Speaking at the J. Ronald Terwilliger Foundation Forum on Housing America’s Families, for which HousingWire is a media sponsor, today in Detroit, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson gave a look at the challenges the housing industry faces when it comes to providing shelter the nation’s poorest citizens.

The outlook isn’t bright, but there’s hope.

“Everyone gathered in this room already knows the statistics by memory,” Carson said. 

“As you know, there are 11 million households in America who are 'severely burdened,'” he said. "They pay more than 50% of their income on rent." Also, nearly half a million families don’t have any home at all. Forty thousand veterans remain homeless."

Here’s what his department plans to do to reduce those numbers.

HUD’s Rental Assistance Demonstration program is one example, the program allows localities to leverage public and private resources to ensure that public housing units are maintained and improved. That private funding will be key to the future success of these programs, Carson added.

 “$4 billion in new private and public funds have been leveraged by RAD since its inception,” he said. “It would have taken public housing authorities 46 years to raise the funds necessary by themselves.”

HUD also issued regulations for the Federal Housing Administration to make condo ownership easier for first-time buyers. These new regulations eliminate hurdles for first-time ownership of a condominium, which is often the initial step on the home ownership ladder, and seen as a vital step to reach the Millennial population.

Carson also mention that deregulation will also help achieve these goals:

“I know that President Trump shares this commitment; that is why he has directed federal agencies to guard against burdening American families and their businesses with unnecessary and expensive regulations.

In keeping with his executive order, HUD has established a Regulatory Reform Task Force charged with identifying agency regulations that should be repealed, replaced or modified. We want our partners affordable housing to be free to innovate, renew, and give back to their communities.”

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