The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD, is proposing to change the way it calculates Fair Market Rents, or rental subsidies for low-income families. Right now, it's calculated on a metro area wide basis. HUD's Brian Sullivan says that's not giving families enough choices.
"We are proposing to use a zip code based approach," says Sullivan, "which is in essence fine tuning how we set Fair Market Rents. This will give families much greater choice to live where the jobs are and the better schools are."
Sullivan says if instituted today, this approach would affect the Sacramento-Arden Arcade-Roseville metro area, Oakland, San Jose and San Diego, among other places.
"There are 31 metro areas across the country where we're proposing this might possibly take effect," says Sullivan. "But if this were to take effect, we would use the most currently available data, and that may or may not include Sacramento-Arden Arcade and Roseville."
He says that's because the changes being proposed may not actually take effect for another two years. And by that time, local agencies may have reduced the patterns of segregation.
HUD is accepting public comment for the next 60 days.
Critics say the federal government should not be meddling in issues best left to local communities.