- Associated Press - Saturday, February 6, 2016

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - More than 800 Alabamians could face eviction from public housing under a new proposal that would cut off assistance for higher-earning individuals.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development has announced a new proposal aimed at reducing the number of “over-income” tenants who live in government-assisted homes, Al.com (https://bit.ly/1PV6FCc) reported. Currently, federal law requires people to meet income requirements when they move in to government-assisted housing.

But they are not forced to leave if their income grows past the threshold.

The proposal comes after a July 2015 inspector general’s report that found as many as 25,226 over-income families were living in public housing facilities in the U.S. Of those, 53 percent had income up to $10,000 more than HUD’s 2014 limits; 47 percent had income of more than $10,000 above the thresholds. HUD spent about $104.4 million a year to house those residents, according to the report.

“Current law and regulation do not require eviction or termination of residency in circumstances when a household’s income increases significantly and consistently over time, even if that family pays full market rent and receives no subsidy at all,” HUD said in its announcement. “Given the urgent need for affordable rental housing in many communities, HUD is considering ways to possibly limit public housing residency to those households that actually require housing assistance.”

Qualifying income levels vary from county to county but the highest threshold is generally 80 percent of the median income for the county or metro area in which the household resides. Nationwide, some 1.1 million families reside in public housing.

HUD is now seeking input from interested parties on specifics, including how much income is too much and how the removal process would be handled. The public has 30 days to comment. You can see how to do that here.

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