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Proposed HUD budget cuts threatens 430,000 Section 8 tenants with eviction

by Lynda Carson (newzland2 [at] gmail.com)
HUD Secretary Marcia L. Fudge Warns That Proposed Budget Cuts Threaten 430,000 Section 8 Tenants With Eviction!
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Proposed HUD budget cuts threatens 430,000 Section 8 tenants with eviction

By Lynda Carson - April 21, 2023

Oakland - The reported proposal to slash the FY 2024 federal budget to FY 2022 enacted spending levels by the GOP’s Kevin McCarthy, and the fascist, racist, xenophobic, authoritarian, voter suppressing, women hating, anti-LGBTQ plus attack dogs of the Republican Party, threatens 430,000 families in the Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8 Voucher Program) with eviction from their federally subsidized Section 8 housing.

Since the extreme right-wing pigs of the fascist GOP have high-jacked the debt ceiling process in recent months, and have held the federal government as hostage until they get what they want, it appears that the impact of their demands will cause the biggest budget cuts to HUD’s subsidized housing programs in it’s history. Resulting in hundreds of thousands of low-income families facing eviction locally, and across the nation.

Reportedly, according to the National Low-Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC), HUD Secretary Marcia L. Fudge warned that the House Republican leadership’s proposal would “represent the most devastating impacts in HUD’s history” and “make it impossible to stave off mass evictions.”

Additionally, according to the NLIHC, HUD Secretary Marcia L. Fudge stated that “Families living in public housing would be exposed to unsafe living conditions due to drastic cuts to the Public Housing Operating Fund and a projected $700 million cut from the capital grants.

Any cuts to the FY23 levels for HUD’s Project-Based Rental Assistance (PBRA) program would eliminate funding for approximately 286,000 families, leading to an unprecedented loss of existing affordable housing and mass evictions.

The average Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) annual grant would be reduced by approximately $440,000. The average HOME Investment Partnerships grant would be reduced by $330,000, resulting in more than 6,700 fewer units of affordable housing produced.

Cuts to the Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) program would result in over 24,000 fewer people receiving assistance, likely resulting in significant increases in the number of people experiencing homelessness. A 22% cut from FY23 levels would result in nearly 95,000 fewer people receiving assistance through the Continuum of Care program.

With a 22% cut, funding for Native American Housing Block Grants would be reduced to its lowest level since the program was implemented in 1996, making it nearly impossible for most Tribal grantees to develop new affordable housing units and meet the basic operations and maintenance needs of their existing housing stock.”

If the right-wing proposals of the fascist GOP are enacted as a result of them high-jacking the debt ceiling process and holding the federal government hostage, this will result in a manmade catastrophe resulting in an unprecedented loss of existing affordable housing, and mass evictions.

Past Budget Cuts To HUD’s Subsidized Housing Programs Have Resulted in Thousands Facing Eviction And Homelessness

Locally, in 2004, Section 8 tenants in Alameda successfully rallied to fight back against budget cuts to HUD’s subsidized housing programs, resulting in protests and rallies to save the Section 8 tenants in Alameda from being evicted. The HUD budget cuts at that time resulted in around 1,659 families in Alameda facing eviction, and homelessness.

Back in 2005, Section 8 tenant rallies in San Rafael resulted in low-income families learning how to fight back against budget cuts to HUD’s Housing Choice Voucher Program/Section 8 Voucher Program, by contacting their Representatives in Washington D.C., demanding that HUD’s subsidized housing programs must be fully funded.

During 2006, a Section 8 rally in Berkeley helped to teach Housing Choice Voucher Tenants/Section 8 Tenants how to fight back against HUD budget cuts, in order to save their Section 8 housing, and avoid homelessness.

Local HUD Subsidized Housing Units Being Placed At Risk

According to HUD’s subsidized housing records during January of 2023, for some of the local Public Housing Authorities (PHAs), there are around 14,011 section 8 units in Oakland, plus 1,970 other subsidized low-rent housing units. San Francisco has around 15,878 section 8 units, plus 640 low-rent units. South San Francisco has 80 low-rent units. Alameda has 1,893 section 8 units. Berkeley has 2,080 section 8 units. Richmond has 409 low-rent units. Alameda County has 7,013 section 8 units. Marin County Housing has 2,384 section 8 units, plus 496 low-rent units. And Contra Costa County has 9,417 section 8 units, plus 963 low-rent units.

Additionally, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the Section 8 Project-Based Rental Assistance programs assist more than 2 million people with their housing assistance needs.

Asides From Facing HUD Budget Cuts, Sleazy Landlords Pressure Section 8 Tenants With Illegal Side-Deals

Through the years, Section 8 voucher tenants have faced enough problems from HUD budget cuts threatening them with eviction and homelessness, but at times Section 8 voucher tenants are also being pressured by sleazy landlords to go along with illegal side-deals that cost them illegal fees and more in rent than they are required to pay according their HAP contract, or they may face eviction by the sleazy landlord if the tenants fail to pay the illegal fees.

Local Oakland attorney Andrew Wolff and his law firm has been defending and representing low-income tenants in the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program from sleazy landlords such as the Wasatch Advantage Group, that has been pressuring Section 8 voucher tenants into illegal side-deals.

Reportedly, during January of 2023, “The Eastern District of California recently decided in Terry v. Wasatch Advantage Group, No. 2:15-cv-00799 (E.D. Cal., November 23, 2022), that certain amenities fees are illegal excess rent and violate contract terms for the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program.  The Court ordered the defendants, who are private property owners and managers, to repay the fees to their tenants.”

Tenant Activists Urge HUD’s Subsidized Tenants To Fight Back Against The Proposed Budget Cuts

Meanwhile, tenant activists are urging tenants in HUD’s subsidized housing programs to contact their representatives to demand that HUD’s subsidized housing programs are fully funded, and that the proposed budget cuts by the fascist, racist, xenophobic, House Republican leadership’s proposal remains dead in the water.

According to the NLIHC, “Email your members of Congress today and urge them to increase – not cut – resources for affordable housing and homelessness in FY24 and to support NLIHC’s top appropriations priorities:

• $32.7 billion for the TBRA program to renew existing vouchers and to expand the program to an additional 200,000 households.



• $5.4 billion for public housing operations and $5 billion for public housing repairs.



• $3.8 billion for HUD’s Homeless Assistance Grants program.



• $100 million for legal assistance to prevent evictions.



• $3 billion for a permanent Emergency Rental Assistance program.



• $300 million for the competitive tribal housing grants, targeted to tribes with the greatest needs.”

Lynda Carson may be reached at newzland2 [at] gmail.com

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