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Housing Update: Sequestration Housing Program Cuts

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  • Lynda Carson
    (Street Spirit Newspaper) Sequestration Will Shred the Housing Safety Net By Lynda Carson - March 2013 Click below for full story...
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 19, 2013
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      (Street Spirit Newspaper)
      Sequestration Will Shred the Housing Safety Net

      By Lynda Carson - March 2013

      Click below for full story...

      http://www.thestreetspirit.org/sequestration-will-shred-the-housing-safety-net/

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      (Massachusetts)
      Worcester loses $675,000 in federal funds

      By Nick Kotsopoulos TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF - Tuesday, March 19, 2013

      Click below for full story...

      http://www.telegram.com/article/20130319/NEWS/130319605/1116

      WORCESTER — Several local programs that receive federal funds through the city are facing reductions in their allocations for the final quarter of this fiscal year because of federal budget sequestration.

      Since the cuts will have to be implemented over just a three-month period, City Manager Michael V. O’Brien said they will have a four times greater impact on programs than had the cuts been made at the beginning of the year.

      Automatic, across-the-board spending reductions triggered by sequestration are expected to amount to an 8.2 percent cut in federal funding coming to the city, he said.

      The manager said that would equate to more than $675,000 cuts to the following programs: community Development Block Grant, HOME Investment Partnership, Emergency Solutions Grant, Housing Opportunities for People with AIDS, and Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Control.

      The programs that will be affected by the funding cuts include food pantries, affordable housing programs, after-school programs, social service case management and homelessness prevention, he said

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      (Indiana)
      Federal sequestration fallout affecting GHA funding issues

      Monday, March 18, 2013

      Greencastle Banner-Graphic

      Click below for full story...

      http://www.bannergraphic.com/story/1950691.html

      On March 1, sequestration went into effect, and government agencies across the nation began feeling the backlash.

      The Greencastle Housing Authority (GHA) is one those agencies. Housing Authorities across the nation are losing significant funding to operate their agencies.

      On March 8, HUD sent letters to all Housing Authorities informing them that administrative funding would be cut to 68.5 percent, and Housing Assistance Payments would be cut to 94 percent.

      This means that GHA will receive fewer dollars in calendar year 2013, or only 68.5 percent of CY 2012 allocated funds, to operate the Voucher Program in Putnam County.

      Due to GHA's current debt to HUD, resulting from operation of the previous A-Way Home Shelter, GHA is operating at a deficit and may be forced to only be open four days per week rather than the current five days.

      That will mean that current clients on the Voucher Program may see fewer hours that they are able to come into the GHA office for assistance or to sign required HUD documents. Any persons currently on the Voucher Program do not need to worry about losing their voucher.

      A public notice will go out if funding for Housing Assistance Payments is reduced further, GHA officials said.

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      Sequester could decrease public housing aid

      Chillicothe Metropolitan Housing looking at possible 5 percent cut

      Mar. 19, 2013 8:28 PM

      Click below for full story...

      http://www.chillicothegazette.com/article/20130319/NEWS01/303190019/Sequester-could-decrease-public-housing-aid

      CHILLICOTHE — The federal sequester could affect the Chillicothe Metropolitan Housing Authority as the agency braces for 5 percent cuts that might result in a decrease in the number of families receiving assistance through its public housing program.

      The CMHA provides rental assistance to low-income families as part of its Section 8 housing voucher program, which the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development oversees. Cheryl Buck, Section 8 program manager for CMHA, said the program is funded to help 515 families and that a formula is used to determine the amount each family can receive.

      However, she said the cuts could cause CMHA to serve 47 families fewer than expected.

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      Interest high, outlook bleak for Section 8

      March 18. 2013 10:56PM

      Click below for full story...

      http://psdispatch.com/news/local-news/360193/Interest-high-outlook-bleak-for-Section-8

      The Luzerne County Housing Authority received 966 requests for Section 8 rental assistance during a recent 11-day window allowing residents to apply for the first time in two years.

      Authority Executive Director David Fagula said new applicants should expect a lengthy wait for rental subsidy — in some cases years — because the federal government isn’t providing enough funding this year to cover people already in the program.

      “The funding numbers don’t look good,” Fagula said.

      The authority, which serves all county municipalities except for the four cities, is federally authorized to fill 1,115 Section 8 slots, but 81 aren’t being accessed by renters because of federal funding cuts, he said.

      Rental subsidy for the 1,034 current participants will cost about $5.7 million this year, and the authority is projected to receive $5.5 million, Fagula said.

      “I don’t think we’ll be able to call anyone new in for the rest of the year because we’re already spending more money than we’re expected to receive,” Fagula said.

      The authority may be forced to eject some of the current participants later this year if nobody leaves the program, he said.

      Other housing authorities throughout the country have been notifying Section 8 participants their rental subsidy might be cut off because of federal budget cuts.

      Fagula said he opted to seek new applicants because residents had been banned from requesting service since March 2011, when 700 applications were received during a three-week enrollment period. He limited the latest enrollment to 11 days because he expected overwhelming response due to the economy.

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      HUD: Federal sequester will cause Illinois 4,500 fewer families to receive housing

      BY MAUDLYNE IHEJIRIKA Staff Reporter mihejirika@... March 18, 2013 1:29AM

      Click below for full story...

      http://www.suntimes.com/news/metro/18700976-418/hud-federal-sequester-will-cause-illinois-4500-fewer-families-to-receive-housing.html

      Cuts to the Department of Housing & Urban Development have triggered dire consequences for the Housing Choice Voucher Program used by the Chicago Housing Authority to move thousands of families from areas of concentrated poverty into more diverse neighborhoods and suburbs.

      Statewide, thousands who would have gotten vouchers this year from municipal and regional housing agencies, won’t get them — including up to 700 families on HACC’s list. Currently, HACC isn’t accepting applications for Section 8 vouchers.

      And many who have already been awarded the elusive benefit — helping 2.1 million poor pay for housing nationwide, half of them elderly and disabled — may see themselves cut off.

      Under the sequester, HUD says Illinois will lose $45.3 million in funding for the voucher program — equating to 4,592 fewer families statewide receiving them this year.

      Illinois also will lose $4.9 million in homeless assistance; $2.1 million in funding for affordable housing development; and $372,000 in funding of housing for people with AIDS.

      Final numbers won’t be known until Congress approves a spending bill. And as of Thursday, no viable proposals were on the table to change the federal fiscal situation.

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      March 16, 2013
      Officials tackle cuts in housing funds

      By Joe Pinchot
      Herald Staff Writer

      Click below for full story...

      http://sharonherald.com/local/x620876050/Officials-tackle-cuts-in-housing-funds

      MERCER COUNTY — Mercer County Housing Authority can absorb the federal government’s sequestration cuts in all areas except one – the Housing Choice Voucher Program, said Executive Director Nannette Livadas.

And that could mean that there will be fewer Mercer County residents receiving federal subsidies to live in the homes and apartments owned by private landlords.

Officials are not sure how to handle the voucher fund administration cuts and are hoping the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development will offer guidance.

“Running the program is getting a little difficult,” Livadas told the authority board Wednesday.

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      Allegheny County Housing Authority lays off 13
      March 15, 2013 2:52 pm

      Click below for full story...

      http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/region/allegheny-county-housing-authority-lays-off-13-679467/

      By Rich Lord / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

      In a reaction to the federal budget reduction known as the sequester, the Allegheny County Housing Authority today laid off 13 people.

      The Department of Housing and Urban Development is only providing $10.3 million of the $13 million the authority needs to conduct normal operations, said Frank Aggazio, the county housing agency's executive director.

      HUD is also providing only 68.5 percent of the money needed to run the Section 8 rent voucher program, he said.

      As a result, the authority laid off three Section 8 counselors, one inspector, four assistant managers, two secretaries, one electrical inspector, one development inspector and a finance clerk, he said.

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      Webster Parish Community Services impacted by sequestration

      Author: Tiffany Flournoy
      Published On: Mar 15 2013 04:09:24 PM CDT

      Click below for full story...

      http://www.ktbs.com/news/Webster-Parish-Community-Services-impacted-by-sequestration/-/144844/19336930/-/vxkej5/-/index.html

      WEBSTER PARISH, La.- The harsh winds created by the sequester are being felt by public programs and its employees in Webster Parish — Headstart, Section 8 Housing, and the Community Services Block Grant.
As a result of sequestration, the local Headstart program is experiencing a 5 percent reduction in funds.

      Section 8’s funding is being cut by 6 percent, and the Community Services Block Grant is suffering a loss of 5 percent of its funding.

      In Addition, Section 8 Housing has also taken a pounding. The 6 percent reduction in funds is directly affecting housing vouchers associated with the federally-funded program.
Under the voucher, a housing subsidy is paid by the Public Housing Authority on behalf of participating clients. The clients income is also factored into the amount paid out to the recipient each month.
“If an individual, who is using a voucher leaves the program, that voucher may go unfilled because of the cut in the budget,” Whitaker said. Additionally, Whitaker said her office will possibly be making rental adjustments as they review the income of voucher recipients.

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      (Monterey County, CA.)
      Federal budget cuts threaten housing assistance programs
      Mar. 14, 2013 4:51 PM

      Click below for full story...

      http://www.thecalifornian.com/article/20130315/LIFESTYLE/303150015

      Jean Goebel, executive director of the Housing Authority of the County of Monterey, said her agency could face a 30 percent reduction in administrative funds and an 8 percent cut in housing assistance payments for public and Indian housing programs.

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      (Minden, LA)
      Sequestration hits home

      MARCH 14, 2013 JERI BLOXOM

      Click below for full story...

      http://www.press-herald.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=5524:sequestration-hits-home&catid=34:local-news&Itemid=69

      While Congress' lack of action has yet to cause the loss of jobs and services to Webster Parish Community Services, it has caused portions of their funding to be reduced by five to six percent.
      "The programs hardest hit by the cuts are Section 8 Housing and Head Start," said Mary Whitaker, director of Community Services. "These programs are still operational, but there will be changes."
Whitaker said Congress' sequestration has resulted in federal funds falling short in the 2013 budget.

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      Renton Housing Authority copes with federal budget cuts

      By TRACEY COMPTON 
Renton Reporter Staff writer 
MARCH 14, 2013 · 1:22 PM

      Click below for full story...

      http://www.rentonreporter.com/news/198212281.html

      The Renton Housing Authority will shift resources around to cover any lack of federal support for its Section 8 housing assistance programs due to federal budget cuts.

      "The surplus from non-federal programs will underwrite any loss from federal programs going forward to the extent the individual program reserves prove insufficient to cover operating and rent assistance costs," Mark Gropper, the agency's executive director.
      The Renton Housing Authority is making plans for a more sustainable business model, with the Sunset Highlands Redevelopment project, in the wake of tumultuous federal budget cuts.

      According to Gropper, the housing authority will be at about 92 percent of what it needs to operate its publicly subsidized housing budget in light of the federal sequester, or budget cuts.

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      Housing benefits slashed for hundreds of Vermonters
      Posted: Mar 14, 2013 3:01 PM PDT

      Updated: Mar 14, 2013 5:00 PM PDT

      By Jennifer Reading
      Click below for full story...

      http://www.wcax.com/story/21645931/housing-benefits-slashed-for-hundreds-of-vermonters

      "The fair market rents for 2013, they dropped drastically," said Claudia Donovan, the director of rental assistance at the Burlington Housing Authority.

      Donovan says fair market rent is the amount the federal government says housing costs in the area.

      In 2012, the feds said $896 would cover rent and utilities for a one-bedroom apartment in the greater Burlington area. This year that number dropped to $788. For families needing a three-bedroom, in 2012 the feds put the cost of rent and utilities at $1,439, but lowered that to $1,289 for 2013.

      Killary found an efficiency. It's small and expensive, but it's a roof overhead. Others who need help will not be as lucky.

      Sequestration is expected to take an additional toll on Section 8. The housing authority is preparing for a 6 percent funding cut, which means 100-150 people will lose their benefits.

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      Sequestration cuts slash SD housing subsidies

      By Matthew Smith, 
Posted on 14 March 2013.

      http://www.thedailyaztec.com/2013/03/sequestration-cuts-slash-sd-housing-subsidies/

      Sequestration is upon us. The $85 billion in federal budget cuts will hurt us locally in numerous ways. This region will obviously feel defense cuts because the U.S. Department of Defense is San Diego’s largest employer. However, cuts to vital social programs such as housing will hit local families hard.

      KPBS reported all non-defense programs will receive an 8 percent budget cut because of sequestration. This will impact local programs such as the San Diego Housing Commission, which received more than $160 million to subsidize housing for families last year. The program gave vouchers to 14,600 families, with each receiving a monthly subsidy of $850. This may sound like a fat government subsidy for housing, but in a city where homes sell at an average of more than $620,000 and monthly mortgage payments vary between $3,000 to $5,000, they can provide a much-needed relief to keep housing affordable in San Diego. It’s also uncertain whether this specific program will be cut equally compared to the rest of the housing programs the sequester threatens. The commission also hasn’t decided if it will be forced to cut some families from the program or cut the subsidy equally for all families that benefit from it.

      The housing commission isn’t the only local housing program threatened by the sequestration. San Diegans benefit from services for the homeless, assistance for first-time home buyers and a 4 or 9 percent tax credit for low-income families. All of these are threatened by federal budget cuts. The Section 8 subsidy, which already has a waitlist of more than 28,000 locally, also faces steep cuts.

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      Reserve draws, voucher freeze likely in DHA sequester response

      Mar. 13, 2013 @ 11:25 PM

      By Ray Gronberg gronberg@...; 919-419-6648

      Click below for full story...

      http://www.heraldsun.com/news/x941745545/Reserve-draws-voucher-freeze-likely-in-DHA-sequester-response

      DURHAM —
      Durham Housing Authority officials plan to draw heavily on their agency’s financial reserves to blunt the impact of the budget cuts being handed down to them by the federal government’s “sequester” battle.

      But the agency nonetheless will have to stop returning Section 8 rental vouchers to circulation after former clients turn theirs in. Given normal yearly turnover, the move could close the door to aid for about 187 families, DHA leaders said.

      That translates into about a 7 percent reduction in the number of vouchers the agency intends to circulate. It has been serving some 2,734 families through the rental-assistance program.

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      Sequester cuts threaten thousands with homelessness

      Updated: Tuesday, 12 Mar 2013, 11:18 PM EDT
Published : Tuesday, 12 Mar 2013, 11:18 PM EDT

      Click below for full story...

      http://www.wane.com/dpp/news/local/sequester-cuts-threaten-thousands-with-homelessness

      FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) - For people in Allen County who use Section 8 vouchers, the threat of homelessness could become very real as a result of the recent government spending cuts.
      Last year the Department of Housing and Urban Development suffered $1 billion in government cuts. That caused local agencies to reach into their emergency reserve funds to keep business operating for the remainder of the year.

      Now, the sequestration cuts that went into affect earlier this month come as a second blow.

      Almost 3000 people use Section 8 and a thousand people utilize Public Housing in Allen County every month. 
However, it's a pecking order, and if someone's single, not disabled, and without a family, that puts him or her at the top of the list as the first to be let go.

      "Who would be the first impacted, and the second, and a tertiary impact on families, and we think people who are able-bodied tend to be the ones that we look to first," said Maynard Scales, the Executive Director of the Fort Wayne Housing Authority.

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      Sequestration impacts looming in northern Michigan

      by Brody O'Connell
      Posted: 03.13.2013 at 9:16 AM

      http://www.upnorthlive.com/news/story.aspx?id=871439

      The Traverse City Housing Commission sent out a letter to landlords saying it expects to see a 5.1% decrease in funding to it’s housing assistance program.

      If those cuts occur, the commission may have to cut participants from the Section 8 housing program.

      “Our participants are concerned because they are not on this program because they want to be on this program, they are on this because they need the assistance, they need that to help them live in a decent, affordable unit,” said Housing Commission Executive Director, Ilah Honson.

      It is likely that Section 8 housing terminations would not take place until May 1, Honson said.

      Meanwhile, in Washington, D.C., there is no sign of a short term solution.

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      (Charlottesville)
      Dwindling federal funds plays role in city's public housing woes

      Posted: Tuesday, March 12, 2013 9:05 pm | Updated: 11:16 pm, Tue Mar 12, 2013.

      Click below for full story...

      http://www.dailyprogress.com/news/local/article_24e3f27a-8b7a-11e2-a229-0019bb30f31a.html

      Dwindling federal money is squeezing public housing agencies nationwide, a trend highlighted by a recent report chastising Charlottesville's housing authority for poor financial oversight.

      With more than $1 billion in cuts nationwide to rental assistance programs looming, the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development warned in the report that the Charlottesville Redevelopment & Housing Authority's failures to collect rent and other debts "jeopardizes the [authority's] financial viability."

      Revenues at the local authority trailed spending by almost $1 million in fiscal year 2012, according to the report.

      "It concerned me that we did not meet the funding guidelines for HUD, the funding agency for the whole program," Charlottesville Mayor Satyendra Huja said Tuesday. "We need to respond to those concerns first."

      Officials must do so against the backdrop of plunging federal money for HUD. The agency's budget request for fiscal year 2013 is about $44 billion, down almost a fifth from $55.9 billion last year.

      Among the proposed cuts in next fiscal year's budget are $500 million in rental assistance programs and another $640 million to a program providing rental aid to families and single people living in newly constructed or rehabilitated buildings, HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan said in his 2013 budget message.

      Figures such as those lead to other numbers far smaller but impactful -- HUD recommended in its report on the local authority that minimum monthly rent be doubled from $25 to $50.

      "Of course, [federal] numbers are going to translate into less money for the housing authorities, which is why we suggest that they look at cost-cutting measures and revenue generation," said Donna White, a HUD spokeswoman.

      Those were among an array of recommendations in the HUD report on the Charlottesville authority, which the feds depicted as plagued by insufficient documentation, failures to monitor income, inadequate budgetary controls and a lack of support from its board.

      Authority revenues fell from $6.9 million to $5.1 million from fiscal year 2011 to 2012, but spending stayed relatively level at $6 million, the HUD report said. The agency gave the local authority until the end of the month to address the report's findings.

      Raising rent is not a panacea, said Councilor Dave Norris, the former authority board chairman recently replaced on the panel by Huja.

      "The idea that the housing authority residents are going to be able to financially bail out the authority with increased rents is delusional," Norris said.

      But HUD plans for some of the cuts to federal aid programs to be covered by increased minimum rents. That comes as demand for public housing is increasing and infrastructure is deteriorating.

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      Sequestration to force HUD to shut down for 7 days

      Click below for full story...

      http://www.federalnewsradio.com/485/3248327/Sequestration-to-force-HUD-to-shut-down-for-7-days

      Tuesday - 3/12/2013, 2:48pm EDT

      The Department of Housing and Urban Development will furlough all 9,000 of its employees for seven days between May and August in a bid to reduce costs due to sequestration.

      All employees, including career employees, will be furloughed the same number of days, which will effectively result in a shutdown of the department on those days. The proposed furlough dates are May 10 and 24; June 14; July 5 and 22; and August 16 and 30.
      The automatic, across-the-board cuts will lop more than $66 million from HUD's 2013 bottom line.

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      (Columbia Housing Authority, Missouri)
      For working poor seeking housing assistance, sequestration brings tough choices

      Click below for full story...

      Tuesday, March 12, 2013 | 6:11 p.m. CDT; updated 6:38 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, March 12, 2013

      Should funding projections from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development remain in place, the authority would be forced to reduce the number of families that get subsidies by 70, according to agency figures. Currently, 1,132 families receive vouchers for rent, which usually allow participants to pay no more than 30 percent of their income toward housing.

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      (Wisconsin, Feb. 28, 2013)
      How the Sequester will affect Dane County’s most vulnerable

      http://housingdane.wordpress.com/2013/02/28/how-the-sequester-will-affect-dane-countys-most-vulnerable/

      For the Dane County Housing authority this means a $36,120 reduction in HAP payments every month. With the average HAP payment being about $600, this cut means that 60 families will lose their rent assistance. That’s 60 families that are now homeless, 60 vacant housing units not collecting rent and 60 requests to local shelters for emergency assistance.

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      (Santa Clara County)
      The Sequester and the Local Impact

      Posted by Sparky Harlan on Friday, March 8, 2013

      Click below for full story...

      http://www.sanjoseinside.com/news/entries/3_8_13_santa_clara_county_sequester_budget_cuts/

      A recent email from the Chair of the Santa Clara County Collaborative on Affordable Housing and Homeless Issues discusses the anticipated cuts to services for the homeless and to affordable housing. Up to 800 low-income families could lose their housing and urban development (HUD) vouchers that currently subsidize rental payments. As a result, many could end up homeless.

      Click below for email stating that 800 low-income families could lose their vouchers in Santa Clara County...

      http://www.sanjoseinside.com/images/uploads/Sequester_Emails.txt

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      (Napa - March 8, 2013)
      City will close rent subsidy waiting list

      Click below for full story...

      http://napavalleyregister.com/news/local/city-will-close-rent-subsidy-waiting-list/article_c267aa70-8821-11e2-bfb3-001a4bcf887a.html

      Closing the wait list, which the housing authority plans to do at 5 p.m. on March 29, will largely free up the one-third of a staff position currently required to maintain it, Ferrell said. Some time will still be spent maintaining the list, which will be reopened when the locals on the list have received funding.

      On average, each Section 8 recipients receive $712 toward monthly rent, Ferrell said. Prior to sequestration of the federal budget taking effect last week, the housing authority was issuing about 10 new vouchers each month thanks to turnover.

      With the sequestration cuts, the housing authority will no longer issue new vouchers, regardless of how many families fall off the program. Last week, Ferrell reported the housing authority was expecting a 6 percent funding cut, which could force it to revoke 73 existing vouchers.

      On Tuesday, she said staff are reviewing reserves to see if there is money that could lessen the impact.

      Ferrell said 16 would-be Section 8 recipient households have already felt the impact of the automatic budget cuts. Those families and/or individuals were new recipients of Section 8 assistance who were looking for housing but had not yet signed leases for apartments. Their vouchers were revoked following sequestration.

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      Sequestration cuts mean Syracuse's poor have longer wait for subsidized housing

      By Marnie Eisenstadt | meisenstadt@...
      on March 08, 2013 at 12:28 PM, updated March 08, 2013 at 12:47 PM

      Click below for full story...

      http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2013/03/sequestration_cuts_make_long_l.html


      The Syracuse Housing Authority has so many people who need housing help that its waiting list is closed to most people. And now the wait for those who made the list just got longer.

      The authority will lose 150 of its 3,600 Section 8 vouchers this year as a result of $85 billion in federal budget cuts that went into effect last week.

      The agency is preparing to lose $1.1 million of its $18.9 million budget for Section 8 housing.

      Low-income families use the vouchers to offset rental costs for apartments they find for themselves. The waiting list for public housing, another option for low-income families, is also years long.

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      Sequester effects begin to surface at city, DHA
      Mar. 08, 2013 @ 05:46 PM

      Click below for full story...

      http://www.heraldsun.com/news/x941742997/Sequester-effects-begin-to-surface-at-city-DHA

      By Ray Gronberg gronberg@...; 919-419-6648

      DURHAM —
      Officials in two local agencies say they’re beginning to see fallout from the federal government’s budget “sequester” as the country’s leading political parties remain deadlocked on fiscal policy.

      Durham Housing Authority chief Dallas Park said his agencies will “have to make some hard choices” because it’s in line to lose about $2.5 million in funding.

      Parks and his staff are still assessing the situation and likely will report to the DHA board’s finance committee, which is scheduled to meet late Wednesday afternoon.

      But, tentatively, it’s looking like the agency will lose about $1 million of the subsidies that support its public housing complex, another $1 million or so that underwrites Section 8 rental vouchers, about $230,000 that supports the administration of the Section 8 program and some money that goes into maintenance.

      There’s little question that operational cutbacks will result.
      “Obviously, we have to align our expenses to our revenues,” said Parks, adding that DHA was figuring on spending about $35 million in 2013. “It’s not going to be fun. It’s a very difficult task.”

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      (Fort Worth, Kansas)
      Federal cuts mean fewer low-income families will get housing assistance

      Alex Branch | Fort Worth Star-Telegram - March 8, 2013

      http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2013/03/08/185277/federal-cuts-mean-fewer-low-income.html

      Local housing agencies are preparing for federal budget reductions by freezing waiting lists already clogged by thousands of applicants and, in Fort Worth, even canceling vouchers already issued to clients who are still searching for apartments.

      At least 600 fewer families in Tarrant County could get assistance from the Housing Choice Voucher Program, also known as Section 8, because of the sequestration cuts, officials predict.
      Agencies will do their best to achieve the cuts through attrition rather than terminating contracts with those currently in housing, officials said.

      However, the Fort Worth Housing Authority is already canceling vouchers for clients who have yet to find a rental unit, said Selarstean Mitchell, vice president of assisted housing. The agency stopped processing those vouchers two weeks ago.

      "It's a very difficult thing to do because we have never had to do it," Mitchell said. "People are surprised. When they get that voucher, they are always so happy and excited."

      Housing agencies nationwide are bracing for the impact of U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development budget cuts that could result in a loss of 100,000 vouchers nationwide, according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition.

      Housing authorities were notified several weeks ago to expect about 94 percent of the funding they were eligible for this year, Mitchell said.

      "Housing authorities are going to have to start making these tough decisions," said Linda Couch, the national coalition's senor vice president for policy and research. "We are already starting to hear a lot of reports of housing authorities freezing turnover or looking at their payment standards."

      The vouchers have always been popular and the economic downturn put them in greater demand. Under the program, a housing subsidy is paid to a landlord directly by a housing agency on behalf of the client. The client then pays the difference.

      The Fort Worth Housing Authority's voucher program backlog is 18,000 families while the Arlington Housing Authority has reached 11,000.

      In Arlington, sequestration is expected to result in about 200 fewer families receiving assistance, said David Zappasodi, Arlington Housing Authority executive director.

      "Each month an average of 35 program participants exit the rental housing assistance programs," Zappasodi wrote in an email. "The Arlington Housing Authority plans to manage the reduction in funding through program attrition to avoid any harmful impact to program participants."

      However, that means it will take longer reach applicants on the waiting list, he said.

      The cuts may force Tarrant County to lose about 150 housing vouchers, said Patricia Ward, county director of community development and housing. However, officials may ask HUD for permission to reduce the value of the vouchers so as to only lose 85.

      That change would require clients to pay more of their own rent, she said.

      "It would make it a little harder for our clients, but we trying to not take anyone completely off (the program)," Ward said. "A lot of our clients are disabled and elderly."

      Reductions in vouchers or their value could have a long-term effect, Couch said. In many cities, rental units are in such high demand that some landlords could decide that participation in the voucher program is more trouble than it is worth.

      "The voucher program 100 percent relies on the participation of private landlords," she said. "The sequester brings a lot of question marks to the federal government's ability or commitment to have a stable program."

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      Sequester could cost Phila. Housing Authority 42M

      Jennifer Lin, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER

      POSTED: Thursday, March 7, 2013, 8:36 Pm

      http://www.philly.com/philly/news/breaking/20130307_Sequester_could_cost_Phila__Housing_Authority__42M.html

      With across-the-board federal cuts that kicked in March 1, the Philadelphia Housing Authority calculated that it would lose $42 million in funding this year, equal to an 11 percent drop in its budget, the agency's interim executive director told employees in a letter this week.

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      Sequester hits Section 8 program in Redondo Beach

      March 7, 2013 2:00 pm

      http://www.easyreadernews.com/66386/sequester-hits-section-8-program-in-redondo-beach/

      Sequestration – the buzzword for $85 billion in budget cuts mandated by the federal government to raise the debt ceiling and reduce deficits – is beginning to ripple through the country. Redondo Beach is likely to feel an acute impact, most immediately to its Section 8 Rent Assistance Program, which could lose up to $1.2 million in federal funding.

      The program receives funding from the Department of Housing and Urban Development in the form of reimbursements to both the city and the landlords with whom it has agreements. At a Housing Authority meeting in December, it was revealed that currently 543 Redondo Beach families are receiving assistance through Section 8.

      The City is required give 90 days’ notice if it must terminate a Section 8 agreement.

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      (Zanesville, OH.)
      ZMHA faces $1M-plus in cuts
      Sequester hinders agency's ability to help poor people

      Mar. 6, 2013 5:48 PM

      http://www.zanesvilletimesrecorder.com/article/20130306/NEWS01/303060032/ZMHA-faces-1M-plus-cuts

      “The bottom line impact of sequestration to ZMHA to public housing is about $500,000 less,” Randles said. “With the housing choice voucher program, we’ll get $267,000 less for housing assistance payments, and $151,000 less for the administrative fee, which totals $418,000 less with the two.”

      “My concern is we’re close to our breaking point,” he said. “In January and February, we received 92 percent of what we’re eligible to receive on the public housing side. We’re only slated to receive 82 percent in March and less than 70 percent from April through December. We know the sequester impacts will be felt in April, and we’re trying to assess and analyze what it means in April and beyond. We need to know how to navigate this.”

      [[[Zanesville Metropolitan Housing Authority stands to lose more than $1 million and serve less people because of the sequester.]]]

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      (Madison, Wis.)
      New downtown high-rise sparks affordability debate

      http://host.madison.com/ct/news/local/writers/mike_ivey/new-downtown-high-rise-sparks-affordability-debate/article_fb5357d4-85e8-11e2-b77a-001a4bcf887a.html

      Wegleitner recounted new figures from the Dane County Housing Authority showing a loss of 60 Section 8 rent assistance vouchers due to the sequestration, which the agency hopes to handle through attrition and longer waiting lists.

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      SMHA to cut jobs
      Springfield agency faces $400K in budget cuts.

      Posted: 10:00 p.m. Tuesday, March 5, 2013

      http://www.springfieldnewssun.com/news/news/local/smha-to-cut-jobs/nWhYb/

      The authority’s budget — which comes almost entirely from the federal government and tenant rent payments — was reduced about $400,000 this year. In 2012, the total budget was $2.5 million. This year, it’s $2.1 million.

      SMHA’s low-income public housing operating subsidy was cut by 17 percent this month, according to documents obtained by the Springfield News-Sun. The agency’s operating subsidy for its Housing Choice Vouchers, also known as Section 8 rent stipends, is also expected to be reduced by 31 percent in April.
      Those cuts in the federal funds prompted the local jobs cuts, Sherry sai

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      Sequester Cuts Come to Midlands in First Week

      Mar. 4, 2013

      http://www.wltx.com/news/article/225176/2/Sequester-Cuts-Come-to-Midlands-in-First-Week?odyssey=tab%7Ctopnews%7Cbc%7Clarge

      "We know that over the next year we will have to lose 140 families from our program," said Nancy Nevill Stoudenmire of the Columbia Housing Authority. "When we lose 140 houses in a Section 8 program, that means 140 landlords aren't getting that rent. So, the landlords are indirectly impacted."

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      Sequestration could mean $1.25 million in federal funding cuts for Boulder County housing, human services programs

      POSTED: 02/28/2013 08:28:56 PM MST
      UPDATED: 02/28/2013 08:29:32 PM MST
      By John Fryar Longmont Times-Call

      http://www.denverpost.com/business/ci_22693067/sequestration-could-mean-1-25-million-federal-funding

      Earlier this week, county officials said the federal sequestration and the resulting cuts in the "housing choice voucher" program could mean that about 50 families could lose their rental assistance vouchers. That would impact families and individuals in the Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing program for homeless veterans; people in the Tenant-Based Rental Assistance program for homeless families with children in Boulder County's school districts; and the Family Unification Program, which helps subsidize families so children can stay at home with their parents.

      [[[Housing cuts will impact rental assistance voucher programs for homeless veterans and families in the child welfare system. The cuts are expected to include nearly an $800,000 reduction in the county's rental assistance program for people at risk of becoming homeless.]]]

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      Tucson may evict 1,800 in 60 days

      http://azstarnet.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/public-housing-tenants-owing-rent-will-feel-federal-cuts-st/article_1e247d93-9c1f-5a3c-af4b-4a60672d8898.html

      Public housing residents who owe back rent will be the first evicted if the city is forced to scale back its rental subsidy program because of federal sequestration cuts, city officials said Friday.

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      Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles - Feb. 22, 2013

      Click below for full report

      http://tinyurl.com/ab35n4f

      http://clkrep.lacity.org/onlinedocs/2013/13-0235_rpt_lahd_2-22-13.pdf

      Sequestration's Impact:

      SECTION 8

      [[[We anticipate that as many as 15,000 families that currently receive Section 8
      assistance will be affected by these cuts resulting in a decrease of payment of an average
      of approximately $200 per month.]]]

      HACLA administers a variety of programs that utilize Section 8 housing assistance as a
      basis for support for nearly 55,000 households in Los Angeles totaling payments of $528
      million annually. The largest of these programs is the Section 8 tenant based voucher
      program that serves 42,000 households. Those residents that are qualified and receive
      Section 8 housing assistance pay 30 percent of their income towards rent. The Section 8
      program pays for the balance of the rent to the landlord up to an amount that is determined
      based on the fair market rents for rental housing in Los Angeles. Under sequestration we
      expect to reduce payment assistance to 90 percent of the fair market rents as determined
      by HUD. We anticipate that as many as 15,000 families that currently receive Section 8
      assistance will be affected by these cuts resulting in a decrease of payment of an average
      of approximately $200 per month. Many of these families will not be able to absorb such a
      large increase in rent and will need to look for alternatives should the landlord choose not
      to reduce the current rent. There are several options participants may choose between: the
      tenant can cover the difference, the landlord may decide to absorb the loss, or participants
      may opt to move to an apartment with a lower rent. Even in the best of circumstances, we
      expect thousands to be forced to relocate from their current residences.

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

      By Lynda Carson - January 26, 2013

      Click below for full story and photos...

      http://sfbayview.com/2013/hud-housing-programs-at-risk-locally-and-across-the-nation/
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