NYCHA residents, New York leaders protest federal plan to increase rent

NEW YORK (WABC) -- NYCHA residents are fighting back against a federal proposal that would dramatically raise their rent.

Resident Karen Blondel said she wouldn't make it if she didn't get rent help from the federal government

"I pay $1,100 a month, but that doesn't leave me anything for groceries," Blondel said.

Now paying that rent may get harder for Blondel and hundreds of thousands of others who get federal help through HUD in NYC.

On Friday, on the steps of City Hall, Blondel joined local and state leaders to stop President Trump's budget proposal for next year that could raise rent by 3 times for low-income families.

The federal government is proposing to increase public housing residents' rent from 30 percent of adjusted gross income to 35 percent of their gross income for people who get federal housing help from HUD.

"People should not be put in a position to decide between a meal on the table and paying rent," U.S. Rep. Adriano Espaillat said.

Of the 640,000 people in NYC who live in low-income housing, 80 percent of them work -- some of them up to three jobs. That's why some say if the federal budget passes, it's going be a big problem for them.

"It would increase crime, it would increase homelessness, we can't afford it," said U.S. Rep. Nydia Velazquez.

Velazquez is proposing an amendment to stop HUD and the president's plan to raise rents.

It's a move that many like Blondel are desperately hoping will be successful.

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