News Update: Berkeley Housing Authority is hit by sequestration budget cuts
- News Update: Berkeley Housing Authority is hit by sequestration budget cuts
Lynda Carson may be reached at: tenantsrule@...
See link below with the Berkeley Daily Planet, plus the article below
in todays Daily Californian newspaper, and the original breaking story
by Lynda Carson published with Indy Bay News Wire...
(Berkeley Daily Planet - Need To Read)
Berkeley Housing Authority is hit by sequestration budget cuts
>>>>>>>>>>Published on Indy Bay News Wire...
[[[The Berkeley Housing Authority recently took back vouchers from 14
Section 8 voucher holders because of the massive budget cuts taking
place known as sequestration! The agency also gave notice to
approximately 200 additional households in the final stages of being
eligible to receive Section 8 vouchers, that their application for the
vouchers have been suspended until further notice!]]]
Berkeley Housing Authority is hit by sequestration budget cuts
By Lynda Carson - June 9, 2013
Berkeley - It's hard times for Berkeley's poor in the Section 8
voucher program (Housing Choice Voucher Program), and it's been very
difficult for the low-income households that have recently moved out
of town due to being pressured out of their public housing units.
Public housing units that are being sold to some out of state
billionaires (Stephen M. Ross and Jorge M. Perez).
Because of recent federal budget cuts (sequestration) affecting our
nation's housing assistance programs for the poor, the Berkeley
Housing Authority (BHA) recently informed 14 households that their
Section 8 vouchers have been suspended until further notice. The
households received the vouchers from the BHA on April 12, 2013, and
have recently been notified that the BHA will not honor a "Request for
Tenancy Approval" for the housing of their choice.
The BHA has also given notice to approximately 200 additional
households in the final stages of being eligible to receive Section 8
vouchers, that their application for the vouchers have been suspended
until further notice.
Households in the Section 8 program pay 30% to 40% of their income in
rent every month, and the rest of the rent is payed to the landlord by
On March 1, 2013, around $85 billion in federal budget cuts took
effect known as sequestration that are part of a 10 year plan of
catastrophic funding reductions to our nation's discretionary domestic
programs including the Department of Housing and Urban Development
(HUD), and the pentagon/military budgets.
The impact of sequestration on the BHA has resulted in the loss of
more than $1.7 million in annual funding for rental subsidy payments.
The BHA has lost an additional $386,000 in administrative fees to
operate it's programs including the Section 8 Voucher Program, Section
8 Project-Based Voucher Program, and the Public Housing Program.
The BHA's public housing program still has 39 occupied public housing
units (RHCP/LIPH) while the BHA is still in the transition process of
selling it's 75 public housing units to some out of state billionaires
that own the Related Companies of California, LLC.
In total. As a direct result of the on-going sequestration budget
cuts, it means that the BHA is no longer able to continue utilizing
all 1,866 vouchers allocated by HUD to assist eligible families at the
current benefit level. Vouchers have been taken back from 14
households in the Section 8 voucher program in Berkeley. Additionally,
vouchers for 200 other households are no longer currently available,
and the BHA has suspended indefinitely, all plans to award any more
Section 8 Project-Based Vouchers in the future.
It's very difficult times for the poor in Berkeley, and for some of
the households that were pressured out of their public housing units
and given a Section 8 voucher to help relocate elsewhere, 3 households
moved into the jurisdiction of the Contra Costa County Housing
Authority. An additional 3 households moved into the jurisdiction of
the Richmond Housing Authority, with 2 other households moving into
the jurisdiction of the Alameda County Housing Authority, and 2 other
households moved into the jurisdiction of the Oakland Housing
Indeed, in a report released on May 22, from a survey conducted by the
Public Housing Authorities Directors Association involving 300 housing
agencies from 41 states, the situation looks very grim for the poor.
At least 51 agencies reported that they will terminate vouchers during
the next 6 months, and an additional 75 agencies have reported that
the budget cuts known as sequestration will result in higher rents for
voucher holders throughout their jurisdictions.
In addition to all the budget cuts affecting the poor in the nation's
federal housing programs, high salaries and wage compensation being
given to some of the overpaid top executives in our local nonprofit,
501 c3 charity housing organizations, result in less funding being
available for the poor in privatized tax payer subsidized housing
Recently a Section 8 tenant in a privatized tax payer subsidized
housing project in Oakland, reported that her rent was increased by
around $100 dollars after the May 1, sequestration budget cuts went
into effect. Wanting to remain anonymous because the building manager
from the non profit housing organization told her not to tell anyone
of her rent increase, she is very worried that the rent increase will
have to come out of her pocket. She is so poor, that she receives food
stamps to survive on, and it concerned her that the rent increase may
be used to subsidize the wages of some overpaid executives running the
subsidized housing project she resides in.
See the latest in salaries and wage compensation for some of the top
executives in some local nonprofit housing organizations, according to
some of the latest 990 tax forms filed with the federal government.
EAH Inc.; In 2012, more than 11 executives at EAH Inc., earned well
over $100,000 per year, including 2 people raking in well over
$200,000 a year. Leading the pack, Mary Murtagh, President, was paid
$298,850 in 2012. Laura Hall, Chief Operating Officer, was paid
$208,286. Cathy Macy, CFO, was paid $186,709. Stephen Lucas, VP
Acquisitions, was paid $182,991. Dianna Ingle, VP Re MGMT, was paid
Affordable Housing Associates; In 2012, Susan Friedland, Executive
Director, was paid $152,966.
Bridge Housing; In 2011, the top executive at Bridge Housing took in
well over $300,000 that year, with 6 other top executives pulling in
well over $200,000 annually, including an additional 6 other top
executives raking in well over $155,000 that year. Leading the pack,
Cynthia Parker took in $330,249 in compensation during 2011. Rebecca
Hiebasko was paid $278,224. Kimberly A McKay was paid $255,665. Susan
Johnson was paid $235,875. D Valentine was paid $235.840. Lydia Tan's
compensation was listed at $224,474 for 2011 (Severance pay on
1/3/2011, of $118,244, and distribution of an additional $106,230).
Brad Wiblin was paid $200,887. Ann Silverberg was paid $196,499.
Christian Church Homes: In 2011, Don Stump, President/CEO, was
compensated $181,874. Cynthia Lappin, VP Operations & COO, was paid
$157,295. Winthrop Marshall, VP Finance & CFO, was paid $151,687.
Leilani Siegfried, VP Human Services, was paid $138,810. Geoffrey
Morgan, VP Development, was paid $130,948. Sheryl Stella, Controller,
was paid $123,832.
Eden Housing; In 2011, Linda Mandolini, Executive Director, was paid
$188,834. Jan Peters, Chief Operating Officer, was paid $187,538.
Terese Mcnamee, CFO, was paid $175,804.
Satellite Housing; In 2011, Ryan Chao, Executive Director, Satellite
Housing was paid $175,321. Dori Kojima, was paid $105,179. Miriam
Benavides was paid $100,093.
Allied Housing; During 2012, Louis D. Chicoine, Executive Director,
was paid $156,626.
East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation; During 2011, Jeremy Liu,
Executive Director, was paid $125,217. Peter Sopka, CFO, was paid
$125,101. Mary Hennessy, COO, was paid $110,126. Carlos Castallenos,
Director of Real Estate Development, was paid $103,329. Records also
show that in 2009, former Executive Director of EBALDC, Lynette Jung
Lee, earned as much $140,536 that year, including an additional $5,942
in other compensation. Joshua Simon is the current Executive Director,
Resources for Community Development; In 2011, Dan Sawislak, Executive
Director, received a total compensation of $127,330.
Lynda Carson may be reached at; tenantsrule@...
>>>>>>>>>>>(Daily Californian Newspaper)
Berkeley Housing Authority cuts vouchers due to sequestration
BY MARY ZHOU | STAFF - Monday June 10, 2013
Due to March’s federal budget cuts, known as the sequestration,
Berkeley Housing Authority has cut 14 subsidized housing vouchers from
low-income individuals while also suspending about 200 households in
the final stages of applications.
On March 1, more than $85 billion in federal sequester cuts took
effect, diminishing spending across many departments, including the
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development as well as its
Section 8 voucher program, which supports local public housing
agencies. Consequently, Berkeley Housing Authority is expecting an
annual loss of about $1.7 million.
The Section 8 voucher program helps low-income families, the elderly
and the disabled find affordable housing. Those who receive these
vouchers pay rent amounts between 30 and 40 percent of their income.
Berkeley Housing Authority currently gives rental assistance to 1,776
households in Berkeley and estimates that it will have to cut 76
households beginning in 2014.
According to Tia Ingram, executive director of Berkeley Housing
Authority, some of the families facing cuts expressed minor angst, but
most of them knew of the sequester beforehand.
“The only way to remain sane is to believe that these changes are
temporary,” Ingram said. “I believe the S8 program (and housing
authorities) will survive. It’s just a question of what the program
will look like going forward.”
In the meantime, local nonprofit organizations may need to step in to
manage the increasing demand for affordable housing and help residents
who are facing eviction.
“We are just coming up with strategies,” said Janny Castillo,
community builder at Building Opportunities for Self-Sufficiency, an
organization that provides services to the homeless in Berkeley. “One
of the things is collaboration between organizations so that we all
know what we are doing.”
Castillo and others say the responsibility to fix these issues lies
with the city.
“It is individually up to each city to prepare for the cuts,” said
Lynda Carson, a writer for the Indybay who has previously covered the
sequestration. “They’ve been well aware of the cuts in progress for a
According to Eleanor Walden, a former member of the Berkeley Rent
Stabilization Board, Berkeley Housing Authority has been slow in
responding to community frustration over previous budget cuts.
“There have been a lot of citizen meetings about it,” Walden said.
“There’s that path between trying to do something, reaching a stone
wall and then becoming incredibly depressed and hopeless.”
According to a report in May by the California Association of Housing
Authorities, California administers 350,000 vouchers, the largest
number of Section 8 vouchers in the country.
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