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HUD

If you're poor or low-income in the U.S. and use government safety net programs, you could be affected by a number of new rules and actions proposed by the Trump administration. Most of the changes are still pending, and anti-poverty groups are trying to stop them from going into effect. Some of the proposals already face legal challenges.

Tens of thousands of poor children — all of them American citizens or legal residents — could lose their housing under a new rule proposed Friday by the Trump administration.

The rule is intended to prevent people who are in the country illegally from receiving federal housing aid, which the administration argues should go to help only legal residents or citizens.

Lawmakers told Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson Wednesday that there's little chance Congress will accept the Trump administration's plan to make deep cuts in housing and development programs.

Maggie Parks has been attending a homebuyer's class at Homeport in order to get down payment assistance. She closed on her house in Milo Grogan last September.
Nick Evans / WOSU

This is the second of a two-part series on affordable housing in Columbus. Read part one here.

On a recent Saturday morning, bleary-eyed prospective homeowners bundled in winter coats piled into a classroom at Homeport in northeast Columbus. Kerrick Jackson, who leads the course, opens with a question: How do you get downtown? 

César Díaz felt lucky that only a couple of leaks had sprung in his ceiling, even though Hurricane Maria tore the zinc panels off much of his roof. His real troubles began about a year after the storm, when a crew hired by Puerto Rico's housing department showed up to make the repairs.

"They weren't very professional," Díaz said. "They didn't wear gloves, and they asked if I had an extra piece of wood."

Within days, there were new leaks. Not only in the living room but in the bedroom, over his daughter's crib.

Nick Evans / WOSU

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson toured Lakeisha Terry’s home in the Milo Grogan neighborhood on Friday morning. She showed off the backyard with new sod, the garage, and her two boys’ bedroom—with wall decals of their names above their beds. 

Ben Carson, the secretary of Housing and Urban Development, proposed on Monday new changes to an Obama-era rule aimed at combating segregation in housing policy.

Carson wants the rule to focus more on reducing the regulatory burdens of local jurisdictions and on giving them more control, while encouraging actions that bolster housing choice and increase housing supply.

During his visit to Cleveland today, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson toured a temporary housing center on the east side.

He said his department prefers to back programs helping people support themselves. “That’s our major focus now at HUD, on the people themselves as opposed to the programs and the houses,” said Carson. 

Carson walked around Family Promise of Greater Cleveland where kids played in a common room while parents in the next room used computers to search for jobs. The faith-based, private non-profit receives $107,000 a year in HUD funding.

Michael Lee / WOSU

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded a Columbus organization a $6.07 million grant to combat youth homelessness in the city.

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson wants Americans living on housing assistance to put more of their income toward rent and he wants to give public housing authorities the ability to impose work requirements on tenants.

Under current law, most tenants who get federal housing assistance pay 30 percent of their adjusted income toward rent, and the government kicks in the rest up to a certain amount.

The way some of President Trump's Cabinet officials tell it, their recent negative headlines haven't been about difficulties complying with federal ethics laws, but rather about "the optics."

Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin, in a House committee's hot seat last month after taking his wife on a government-funded trip to Europe, said, "I do recognize the optics of this are not good. I accept the responsibility for that."

Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Colo., questioning Shulkin, snapped back: "It's not the optics that are not good. It's the facts that are not good."

Updated at 10 p.m. ET

The chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform sent a letter to Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson Wednesday requesting "all documents and communications" related to the redecorating of his office and HUD's handling of a whistleblower.

When it comes to poor Americans, the Trump administration has a message: Government aid is holding many of them back. Without it, many more of them would be working.

Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Mick Mulvaney said as much when presenting the administration's budget plan this week to cut safety net programs by hundreds of billions of dollars over the next 10 years. The administration also wants to tighten work requirements for those getting aid, such as food stamps, or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.

Esther Honig / WOSU Public Media

In March, Rep. Steve Stivers of Ohio's 15th district introduced a bill in the U.S. House of Representatives. Its aim is small, but important—expand the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s definition of homelessness.

Ben Carson/Twitter

Former neurosurgeon and new U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson began a three-day visit to Columbus on Wednesday. Carson is meeting with local officials and touring public housing.

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