Residents and leaders react to HUD plan that could raise rent for thousands in Memphis

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A new proposal under President Trump's administration could raise the rent people pay in subsidized Section 8 housing.

There are at least 80 properties and thousands of people that could be affected by this in Memphis.

Although rich in soul and history, Memphis has a deep struggle with poverty.

Thousands of people live in public housing, which is why Representative Antonio Parkinson is questioning a proposal to raise rent for renters of public housing.

He thinks it's an attack on those already struggling.

"I don't know anyone that lived in the projects or lives in the projects that wants to continue to live in the projects for the rest of their lives," Parkinson said.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development is asking Congress to raise public housing rent from 30 percent of residents' income to 35 percent.

In some cases, tenants could pay up to three times more than they are now.

"If we continue to raise the living wage, the amount of money people make, then we can raise the rent," resident Natalie Catchings said.

If passed, this could affect anyone from those who live in public housing to people who get Section 8 vouchers.

HUD Secretary Ben Carson, who proposed it, said it’s time to revamp the current system that discourages people from getting better paying jobs.

He also said there are current terms in place, like taxing new income in the form of rent increase, that hurts people in these programs.

But some say these can’t be blanket decisions.

"Everybody is not in the same situation. These are, in some cases, unique situations and, in some cases, it may be warranted," Parkinson said.

Keep in mind, this is still just a proposal.