Local leaders are rallying against a proposal that could hike rents for low-income residents.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is considering a new method to calculate how much households will get for rent.

The Section 8 program helps low-income families, capping their monthly rent to about 30 percent of their income.

Under the new rule, the value of the monthly vouchers would decrease for low-income neighborhoods and increase for high-income neighborhoods.

HUD says the goal is to encourage Section 8 households to live in better areas, but critics say it will make more people homeless.

"The trouble with the rule is that it's effectively punishing poor people for living in poor neighborhoods," said City Councilman Ritchie Torres of the Bronx. "And so we will have the worst of both worlds. Unaffordable neighborhoods will remain unaffordable despite the increase in rental support, and affordable neighborhoods would become unaffordable because of the decrease in rental support."

City Council members are calling for the city to be exempt from the proposal.

HUD says it's reviewing feedback. It's expected to make a decision by the end of the year.