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Housing News: Sequestration Cuts: HUD Housing Programs At Risk

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  • Lynda Carson
    Housing News: Sequestration Cuts: HUD Housing Programs At Risk (Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Authority / Notice) Click on link below for notice...
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 23, 2013
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      Housing News: Sequestration Cuts: HUD Housing Programs At Risk

      (Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Authority / Notice)

      Click on link below for notice...


      Sacramento Housing & Redevelopment Agency 801 12th Street l Sacramento, CA 95814 l www.shra.org 1


      The federal government must make cuts to all federal programs.

      The cuts will be felt most in the Housing Choice Voucher program.

      It would mean that we would have to take back approximately 950 vouchers from people who are currently in our HCV program.

      Congress has not yet approved a 2013 budget.

      At this time we cannot say who might be affected if we have to take back vouchers.

      We will not make any decisions until we receive official notification from the federal government.

      Congress is working on trying to find a solution.

      We expect that it will be some time after January before we know anything for certain.
      # # #

      (February Issue of the San Francisco Bay View Newspaper)
      HUD housing programs at risk locally and across the nation

      By Lynda Carson

      The City of Los Angeles faces a massive $48 million spending cut to their Section 8 housing voucher program. According to the LA Times, in a report submitted to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on Jan. 3, City Administrative Officer Miguel Santana stated that an estimated 15,000 families that rely on housing vouchers would on average see their rent expenses increase by $116 per month if Congress fails to block the automatic across-the-board spending cuts scheduled for March 1.

      Additionally, the Housing Authority of Los Angeles County seeks HUD approval to terminate rental assistance for 1,800 families if the spending cuts take place or to raise the rents on 21,132 households.

      In Sacramento, according to the website for the Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency, if the spending cuts take effect, they will have to take back around 950 vouchers from households in the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program.

      Click below for full story...


      GHURA concerned about sequestration impacts

      Posted: Feb 17, 2013 5:29 PM PST

      Updated: Feb 18, 2013 12:34 AM PST

      By Jolene Toves

      Guam - Many residents have been wondering how or if the fiscal cliff will affect Guam, and if so, to what extent?

      The Guam Housing and Urban Renewal Authority is watching closely what will happen over the next several weeks in Washington. According to GHURA executive director Michael Duenas, the threat of sequestration is real for his agency, saying, "We are looking at and 8.5% cut for our programs, that is basically 8.5% from March forward."

      Click below for full story...


      Federal funding cuts to hits state hard

      By Andrew S. Ross, Chronicle Columnist

      Updated 10:17 am, Thursday, February 21, 2013

      Click below for full story...


      How worried should Californians be about sequestration?
      If you rely on federal programs for unemployment insurance, housing, school meals, food stamps, education and vaccinations for your young child, you should be very worried.

      [[[San Francisco's latest estimate of cuts to city services, including the school district and Housing Authority, exceeds $25 million, said Francis Tsang, a spokesman for Mayor Ed Lee.]]]

      How will sequester affect you? Services?

      Feb. 23, 2013

      Click below for full story...


      If the sequester goes into effect on March 1, it will be President Barack Obama who will decide what gets cut and by how much.

      RENTAL ASSISTANCE: The Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Housing Choice Voucher program, which provides rental assistance to low-income families, would face a significant reduction in funding, which would place about 125,000 families at immediate risk of losing their permanent housing.

      Sequestration would reach far into the community

      Kathy Grimes - Feb. 24, 2013

      Click below for full story...


      Karen Wilds, executive director of the Newport News Redevelopment and Housing Authority, said public housing agencies would take a 5 percent across-the-board cut under sequestration. Wilds said that follows several years of cutbacks.

      "This is just another cut that would be very hard to absorb," Wilds said.

      Wilds said that would mean deferred maintenance for public housing buildings and fewer staff to carry out programs. The Authority likely will issue fewer vouchers in the Section 8 federal housing voucher program, cutting back on the 2,100 vouchers it currently grants residents for rental assistance. Wilds said the cuts would not mean revoking vouchers, but, for instance, if a family turns in their voucher because they started to make too much money, the authority would hold onto the voucher rather than granting it to another family on the waiting list.

      Agencies in El Paso dreading sequestration

      Friday, February 22, 2013 - 10:17pm

      Click below for full story...


      The Housing Authority of the City of El Paso would need to cut employee salaries by 14%, and reduce the amount rent they pay to landlords. But the agency has already started looking for ways to save without turning families away.

      “We’ve been looking at innovative things like maybe increasing the number of people of a bedroom, from one person in a bedroom to two people in a bedroom, just so that we’re not looking at removing 500 or 600 families from receiving assistance and not being able to have housing,” said Gerry Cichon.

      Ventura officials fear federal spending cuts will hurt city programs

      Ventura County Star‎ - Feb. 21, 2013


      The Ventura Community Development Department is planning for as much as an 8.5 percent cut. The San Buenaventura Housing Authority is expecting a similar cut, about 8 percent.

      As the deadline nears for $85 billion in federal spending cuts to take effect, Ventura is like other municipalities across the nation as it scrambles to figure out what cuts could mean for its programs.

      At a special City Council meeting at noon Thursday, city officials raised their concerns to Rep. Julia Brownley, D-Oak Park. The cuts, known as sequestration, are set to take effect March 1 and could affect areas including defense, education, transportation and economic development.

      “I wish I had something better to report on this, but honestly I don’t,” Brownley told about 12 people at City Hall. “I think it will take a miracle for something to happen between now and March 1.”
      Councilman Neal Andrews expressed concerns with how the Community Development Block Grants program could be affected.

      “Here it produces jobs. It produces housing,” Andrews said of the federal program that is designed to create opportunities for low- and moderate-income people. “By and large, it’s been very, very effective.”

      Ventura’s allocation is roughly $737,000, but the city projects that could drop to between $650,000 and $725,000.

      “That’s a guess,” Community Development Director Jeff Lambert said, based on what the city is hearing from the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

      HUD has told affordable-housing providers to expect 8 percent cuts, said Denise Wise, chief executive officer of the city’s Housing Authority.

      The agency put together a conservative budget, so it should be able to continue its current services, Wise said. But if cuts are deeper, problems could start.

      Housing vouchers, given to offset the rents of low-income people, could be frozen for new participants, or those subsidies could be reduced, and someone might pay about $200 more per month, she said.

      “Is that enough to put someone on the street?” Brownley said.
      “Yes,” Wise said.

      Many military veterans are on extremely fixed incomes, some receiving $600 per month in disability, Wise said.

      How to pay for dredging of Ventura Harbor is another concern. The Ventura Port District received $2.5 million from the Army Corps of Engineers to dredge — a victory but still short of the $5.9 million needed to dredge the harbor completely and do future dredging, General Manager Oscar Peña said.

      Peña asked Brownley to look at how federal money is allocated to ports, namely in the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund.

      Brownley added that she worries that thousands of people could be affected by cuts to Naval Base Ventura County.

      There’s a “strong likelihood they’ll have to furlough,” she said.
      Councilwoman Cheryl Heitmann said the council asked to meet with Brownley to discuss how the city and federal government could work together. Similar meetings are being planned with state and local officials, Heitmann said.

      Brownley said she hopes to meet with all the cities in Ventura County soon.

      Spending Cuts Could Make A 100,000 More People Homeless In A Year


      WASHINGTON — If allowed to take effect March 1, the rash of federal spending cuts known as "sequestration" will have a devastating effect on homeless assistance programs and put tens of thousands of the most vulnerable onto the streets.

      As of December, the federal government counted more than 600,000 people as officially long-term homeless. If sequestration takes effect, that number could rise by roughly 100,000 people, according to federal government estimates.

      But with this number looming large, the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has not yet advised states what programs might be cut or offered any other guidance on planning for the sequester.

      "It's hard to know what sequester will do," said Sally Harrison, director of Homeless Solutions at Michigan State Housing Development Authority. "It will be up to HUD to determine what programs will be cut. It is our hope that the department would not take funding away from the poorest amongst us."

      Even with explicit guidance from the federal government, the cuts would be a lot for states to plan for.

      In a testimony before the Senate Appropriations Committee on Feb. 14, HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan acknowledged the myriad homeless assistance programs that could face serious cuts: rental assistance, emergency shelters, the Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS program, and others.

      "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," Donovan said.

      Non-emergency shelters, for which federal funding has already diminished dramatically, are also stuck in a similar mire to states: of having little reliable information about the automatic federal spending cuts.

      Gwenn Wysling, the executive director at Bethlehem Inn, a homeless shelter in central Oregon, doesn't really know what to expect.

      "It's on our mind," Wysling said of sequestration.

      Although Wysling's shelter no longer receives federal funding, she expects the shelter could be stretched thin by sequestration: With more homeless people, there will be a greater demand for services.

      "We might have more people coming to our shelter," Wysling said. "We are constantly seeing new faces and new situations, and we do our best."
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