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Funding for New York City's Section 8 Housing Program (The Largest in the Country) Will Be Cut By $120 Million

Protesters March For Section 8

New York City has the largest Section 8 Housing Program in the country with more than 214,000 New Yorkers participating. Section 8 Housing Assistance programs help low-income families by offering subsidies on rent that are funded through the federal government. Qualifying families pay only 30 percent of their monthly income for rent, and the program pays the rest. Now this program faces a crises due to federal sequestration that has cut $120 million from the rental subsidy program.

It is expected that the budget cuts will eliminate up to 6,000 vouchers from being available to families who need help finding an affordable place to live. Others currently in the program will receive less, leaving them to figure out how they are going to pay for their rent. It is expected that the rent assistance will be reduced anywhere from $100 to $400 a month for families in the Section 8 program.

The three agencies affected by the cuts include the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, the New York City Housing Authority and the state’s Department of Homes and Community Renewal. The results of the cuts will be devastating to many New Yorkers. Already long waiting lists will not be opened, the elderly, disabled and others on fixed incomes do not have other sources to pay additional money for rent, and the city already has a huge problem trying to provide enough affordable housing for those in need; the homeless population has increased to the highest level since the Great Depression.

The only good news, at least for right now, is that the city does not plan to withdraw any housing vouchers that have already been issued. But there is no guarantee that isn't a possibility if more budget cuts come.

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