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Flat Rate Increase to Hit Public Housing Residents

WGIL Newsroom . Local News 319

During a legislative visit to Washington D.C., Knox County Housing Authority Executive Director Derek Antoine expressed concern over a projected raise in mandatory flat rate increases.

According to Antoine, the increase is the result of the federally set fair market rate which is higher than what was determined last year by the Housing Authority through a market study.

The Housing Authorities is also required to set their flat rates to at least 80-percent of the federal fair market rate.

Antoine tells WGIL that this increase causes him to be concerned that those residents who need assistance that would be unable to afford housing.

“The FMR rates for Knox County are above what we determined is market for those units,” says Antoine. “Where our concern is is that, what we had is that we’re going to have our flat rents that are going to be above market price. So my concern is that once we set those is that we’ll be paying a higher standard than, say, if these folks just went out and rented on their own.”

Antoine says the agency’s job now is to provide information to those on the flat rate program.  He says residents have the option of moving back to an income based rent program.