Housing News: On Feb. 14, HUD Secretary says; Sequestration could devastate Fed housing programs
(Senator Murray outlined the consequences of sequestration cuts on HUD programs, saying that over 200,000 families could be at risk of losing their housing. See story below...)
Murray Highlights Impacts of Sequester on Washington Schools and Housing Across the Nation
February 14, 2013
Murray questions Sec. of Education, Sec. of Housing and Urban Development on impacts of automatic cuts if Congress fails to avoid sequester
Washington, D.C. – February 14, 2013 – (RealEstateRama) — Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray, a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, questioned Arne Duncan, Secretary of the Department of Education, and Shaun Donovan, Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, about the potential impacts of cuts to education and housing in the looming sequester. Senator Murray is working to replace the sequester with a balanced approach that avoids these damaging cuts.
Senator Murray told Secretary Duncan about her constituents in the Yakima School District, where sequestration would cut $1.6 million from their budget, in a district that has a free and reduced price lunch rate of 83 percent. She also discussed concerns about districts like Central Kitsap and Clover Park, which serve the children of servicemembers stationed at Naval Base Kitsap and Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Murray asked Secretary Duncan how districts like these would cope in already difficult economic times if sequestration went into effect.
Senator Murray also questioned Shaun Donovan, Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, on the effect of job losses on housing and the economy. Senator Murray outlined the consequences of sequestration cuts on HUD programs, saying that over 200,000 families could be at risk of losing their housing. Senator Murray asked Secretary Donovan to highlight some of the other ways sequestration would impact the housing market, and the possible spillover effect these problems could have on local economies.
See letters from the U.S. Departments of Housing and Urban Development and Education highlighting the impacts of sequestration.
(On Feb. 14, 2013 HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan stated; Another 125,000 individuals or families could lose assistance offered through the Housing Choice Voucher program (Section 8 housing), putting more people at risk of becoming homeless, Donovan told the panel. See article below.)
Donovan: Sequestration could devastate Fed housing programs
By Kerri Ann Panchuk - Feb. 14, 2013
Automatic government spending cuts could result in 75,000 fewer households receiving foreclosure-prevention aid along with rental and counseling services through the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Shaun Donovan, HUD Secretary, sent that warning to lawmakers Thursday when discussing the impact sequestration could have on homeowners during a Senate Appropriations Committee.
It’s not just foreclosure counseling and prevention programs that would feel the impact of automatic cuts.
Another 125,000 individuals or families could lose assistance offered through the Housing Choice Voucher program, putting more people at risk of becoming homeless, Donovan told the panel. The HCV program currently provides support to families who are renting in private apartment units.
Donovan added that sequestration cuts could cause more than 100,000 formerly homeless Americans, including veterans, to be removed from their current residences or emergency housing programs.
"Much of this damage will be done through cuts to HUD’s Continuum of Care programs, under which formerly homeless families and individuals are quickly re-housed and given other assistance to move them towards self-sufficiency," he explained.
"In addition, the sequestration cuts would eliminate some of the key funding for the nation’s shelter system for the homeless provided by the Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) program."
HUD programs related to home safety and rehabilitation also would take a hit, Donovan said. About 2,100 housing units for low-income families would no longer have funding available through the Home Investment Partnerships program.
"These cuts will have an even broader effect on local economies, particularly because historically, every dollar of HOME funding is leveraged with almost four dollars of other governmental or private investment for the production or rehabilitation of affordable single or multi- family housing," Donovan said. "This will mean fewer jobs in and more harm to local construction and related industries."
Obama administration warns cuts would hurt housing, Sandy relief
Reuters - Feb. 14, 2013
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Obama administration on Thursday warned that deep government spending cuts set to go into effect next month would have harsh consequences for housing programs and could threaten Superstorm Sandy recovery efforts in the U.S. Northeast.
More than 100,000 homeless and formerly homeless people, including veterans, would be removed from their current housing or emergency shelter programs, as a result of the cuts, he said.
Click below for full story...
(U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations)
The Impacts of Sequestration
For Immediate Release - Feb. 14, 2013
[[[On Feb. 14, 2013 HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan said; "The March 1 sequestration would have devastating effects on homelessness and on other vulnerable groups that HUD works with on housing needs across the country." In particular:]]]
Click below for links to a letter from HUD to the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations and the Testimony of HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan.
In part on Feb. 14, 2013 HUD Secretary Donovan states;
"The March 1 sequestration would have devastating effects on homelessness and on other vulnerable groups that HUD works with on housing needs across the country." In particular:
About 125,000 individuals and families, including elderly and disabled individuals, could lose assistance provided through the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program and be at risk of becoming homeless. The HCV program, which is administered by state and local public housing agencies (PHAs), provides crucial assistance to families and individuals in renting private apartment units. There may be even more families affected by the sequestration cuts to the extent that PHAs are forced to absorb annual funding losses in less than a full twelve month time frame. In addition, since sequestration will also cut PHA administrative fees for the HCV program, numerous PHAs may find continued operation of the program financially untenable and thus stop operating the program entirely, which will harm even more families and individuals, including homeless veterans.
Sequestration cuts would also result in more than 100,000 formerly homeless people, including veterans, being removed from their current housing or emergency shelter
programs, putting them at substantial risk of becoming homeless. Much of this damage will be done through cuts to HUD’s Continuum of Care programs, under which formerly homeless families and individuals are quickly rehoused and given other assistance to move them towards self-sufficiency. In addition, the sequestration cuts would eliminate some of the key funding for the nation’s shelter system for the homeless provided by the Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) program. Because ESG is considered a critical glue, holding together the shelter system across the country, the cuts could have a ripple effect and force some shelters to close down altogether, with even more devastating effects. Over the last several years, we have made significant progress in reducing homelessness and in achieving the national goal of ending veterans’ homelessness. These sequestration cuts would lead us in the opposite, and tragically wrong, direction.
Sequestration cuts to the Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS program would result in 7,300 fewer low-income households receiving permanent and short-term supportive housing assistance, including rent or utility assistance. This could result in some people falling into homelessness, which would further exacerbate this tragic problem.
The impact of sequestration would force public housing agencies (PHAs) to defer maintenance and capital repairs to public housing, leading to deteriorating living conditions and, over the longer term, risking the permanent loss of this affordable housing that serves 1.1 million of the nation’s poorest residents. The cuts would also harm the local economies in the areas served by PHAs. PHA spending on maintenance and capital repairs results in expenditures for goods and services throughout local economies. Sequestration would also reduce the number of families served by HUD programs designed to help families in public housing become more self-sufficient.
(In the February issue of the San Francisco Bay View Newspaper)
HUD housing programs at risk locally and across the nation
By Lynda Carson -- January 26, 2013
Now massive spending cuts to the nation’s federal housing programs are scheduled to go into effect on March 1, 2013, threatening thousands of low-income families in Oakland and other Bay Area cities with higher rent than they can pay. Additionally, several hundred thousand or more low-income families all across the nation could lose their vouchers.
Click below for full story...