Friday, September 18, 2009

2,300+ low-income Florida families
could lose housing assistance

More than 2,300 low-income Florida families could have their rental assistance reduced or eliminated as a result of a shortfall in funding for the Housing Choice Voucher Program* in 2009.

Twenty housing authorities in Florida are among about 400 nationwide that may be forced to reduce the number of low-income families they serve, despite rising need as a result of increasing unemployment and poverty.

One factor contributing to the funding shortfalls is a decline in tenant incomes** -- most likely due to recent job losses caused by the recession. Because tenants pay about 30% of their incomes in rent, the housing authority often pays more when a tenant becomes unemployed.

Read the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities report from here.
* The Housing Choice Voucher Program is commonly known as "Section 8," in reference to the portion of the U.S. Housing Act of 1937 under which the original subsidy program was authorized.

** Just last week, Census data showed that median household income (the amount earned by a family at the exact center of the income scale) sank 3.6% in 2008, from $52,163 to $50,303. That is the largest one-year decline on record. See previous post here.


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