Morris County Residents Benefit from Housing Vouchers
In a December 7, 2014 article for the Daily Record, Lorraine Ash reported:
“In New Jersey, 159,000 households depend on a voucher to partially pay their rent, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP). Sequestration cuts in fiscal year 2013 axed 1,600 vouchers.”
“I never made a whole lot of money, but I made decent money’” (72 year old Valerie) Fox said. ‘I got paid twice a month and one whole paycheck went to my rent. I don’t live in a luxury apartment but I live in a decent apartment house that I love. When I got the voucher, it was really wonderful. I had $200 a month knocked off my monthly rent because of my income. Heaven to me!’”
Said Valerie Fox.
In many parts of New Jersey, including Morris County what vouchers can provide often does not match up with rent affordability. Low-income households face this hurdle in addition to the statewide shortage of vouchers.
“A low-income household with a voucher cannot, according to program guidelines, pay more than 40 percent of its adjusted gross income on rent, (Louis) Riccio (Executive Director of the Madison Housing Authority) explained. Even when combined with a voucher, there’s usually a gap between the rental asking price and what a tenant with a voucher can offer.”
“You can negotiate with a landlord and say you really like the apartment,” said the 35-year-old (single) mother (Alicia), who preferred anonymity because of her children. “You can sell yourself and explain the program and then say, ‘My voucher won’t cover $1,600. Can you do $1,400?’ That’s a big stop right there. The landlord says, ‘You want me to take the voucher and take $200 off the rent?’”
Advocates encourage Congress to increase funding for the Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8) program so that next year, we can house all of New Jersey’s families for the holidays. Click here for contact information.