Ben Carson, who was appointed Secretary of Housing and Urban Development by Donald Trump, received a rude awakening recently after his failed attempt to keep low-income families from receiving access to better housing opportunities.
According to The Intercept, Carson sought to delay the implementation of the Small Area Fair Market Rent (SAFMR) by two years, but the district court of Washington, D.C. ruled against his recommendation. The SAFMR rule will give Section 8 housing voucher recipients more choices in where to live, and will also help stop landlords from price-gouging when renting to voucher recipients.
Prior to the implementation of the rule, the monetary value of the vouchers only allowed for recipients to choose from housing in low-income or impoverished area. Moreover, because a large majority of voucher recipients are individuals and families of color, the practice was often resulted in racially segregated housing in metropolitan areas.
Under the SAFMR rule, fair market rent is calculated using a method that allows for an increase in the value of the housing voucher, which in turn gives recipients a wider range of housing areas to choose from. Carson's intention was to delay the implementation of the ruling in a supposed effort to give public housing establishments “more time to integrate this big change into their voucher programs.”
Per the court's ruling, the rule took effect on January 1, 2018.