Today's New York Times reports that as many as 10,500 families who are currently receiving Section 8 may have their vouchers taken away. This would be absolutely unprecedented and devastating. The problem is a result of a funding shortfall of $45 million dollars. Last year,
"The federal government gave the housing authority less money for the voucher program, known as Section 8, than it expected. But the authority made matters worse by continuing to issue new vouchers until December, eight months after the government warned it to stop doing so because the program was likely to run a deficit."
The economy has also contributed to the Section 8 program tightening. As many families saw a decrease in income in the recession, vouchers had to make up a larger portion of their rent. In addition, fewer families are exiting the program.
All of these factors seem to lead in the direction of a crisis of massive proportions. If 10,500 families have their vouchers rescinded (or even half of this number), there will no doubt be many at risk of imminent homelessness-a number the NYC shelter system would likely be unable to support.
At a time when the number of homeless families in New York City is already at an all-time high, the idea of this many families losing their permanent housing support is absolutely unconscionable.
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