Public housing residents in limbo while officials decide on HUD proposal

CINCINNATI -- At the Stanley Rowe Apartments, residents are concerned. 

"We are more worried about being homeless," Stanley Rowe resident Vida Manuel said. "We're more worried than anybody else."

Residents in public housing are in limbo right now. They don't know if their rent will go up or stay the same as they wait to see if a proposal by Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson will take effect.

The proposal could lead to their rent increasing from 30 percent of their income to 35 percent. 

"Thirty-five percent could mean less groceries in the house, because you have to do your co-pays, you have to pay for your medicine," Manuel said.

Mary Delaney is the executive director of Community Matters in Lower Price Hill. They joined more than 1,700 agencies across the country calling on congressional leaders not to approve the measure, which would also set additional work requirements. 

The average family Community Matters works with has about $9,000 income in a year, according to Delaney. She said that if rents go up, local agencies may not be able to help.

"To have that amount of funds available in an already-strapped space of affordable housing would be difficult," she said.

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