Joseph Pennisi, executive director at the Florida Policy Institute, authored a guest column for the Orlando Sentinel in response to the U.S. Housing and Urban Development’s plan to institute “reforms” that would, as Pennisi noted, “cause more people and families to become homeless and punish Floridians who already face the biggest obstacles to making ends meet.” Pennisi’s commentary was published side by side with HUD Secretary Ben Carson’s column claiming that the current housing assistance system is “not only unfair and confusing, it is also getting more expensive every year.” The following is an excerpt from Pennisi's column:
Where you live shapes your opportunities in life, and the fact that so many of our fellow Floridians can’t afford a decent home for themselves and their families affects all of us. Yet, just as Central Florida begins making progress toward helping struggling families find safe, decent, affordable places to live, along comes a new proposal from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development that will take us in the wrong direction. Make no mistake, the agency’s proposal will cause more people and families to become homeless and punish Floridians who already face the biggest obstacles to making ends meet.
While Housing Secretary Ben Carson’s rhetoric in support of the measure focuses on so-called ‘reforms,’ the reality is very different. Let’s detail what the proposal would actually do: