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Cuomo blasts Ben Carson’s plan to raise rent on public housing tenants

The former HUD secretary said landlords are the problem, not NYCHA residents.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo examines a bathroom in an

Gov. Andrew Cuomo examines a bathroom in an apartment in NYCHA's Andrew Jackson Houses on March 12 in the Bronx. Photo Credit: Pool / James Keivom

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Thursday called a proposal by President Donald Trump’s housing secretary, Ben Carson, to raise rent paid by tenants of the projects “ridiculous.”

Cuomo, who two decades ago held Carson’s job under Bill Clinton as secretary of Housing and Urban Development, also took a veiled swipe at Mayor Bill de Blasio’s stewardship of the New York City Housing Authority projects, known as NYCHA.

“I think the suggestion that people in NYCHA aren’t paying enough, especially at this time, is ridiculous,” Cuomo told reporters after his own housing event in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. “If I were the HUD secretary today, I would be more concerned with making sure NYCHA residents are getting what they’re paying for.”

On Wednesday, Carson proposed boosting rent for millions of Americans who live in government-subsidized housing and mandating stricter work rules. The plan, among other things, would raise rent to 35 percent of gross income for about 2 million families who now pay 30 percent.

“Rather than raising the rent, the landlord should be worried about bringing the conditions up to code, providing people heat and elevators that work, and security. The problem isn’t the tenants of NYCHA, the problem is the landlord.”

The city housing authority has been long been beset by trouble, some of which predates de Blasio’s mayoralty. NYCHA’s chairwoman announced her resignation earlier this month amid false claims of lead-paint test inspections and failing boilers, and the authority now faces looming oversight by the state and city.


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