A proposal introduced by U.S. Rep. Judy Biggert (R-Hinsdale) and
supported by President Barack Obama hikes the minimum rent on those who live in federal public housing, a plan that could hurt almost
20,000 Illinois families, according to the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, or CBPP, in Washington, D.C. Biggert proposed raising the minimum rent on U.S. Housing and Urban Development-financed public housing from $50 to $69.50 a month. The president actually wanted to raise it slightly more -- to $75 -- in his 2013 budget.
Biggert says that a higher rent floor will better subsidize public housing and let more people participate. But CBPP and local housing advocates like John Bartlett, executive director of the Metropolitan Tenants Organization, warn that the rent increase could displace public housing residents.
Biggert is in a competitive re-election race in Illinois' 11th District against Democrat and former congressman Bill Foster.