More and More People Face Need When Fewer Vouchers Exist
Nikera Eato, Congressman Pallone, Paul and Ethan Myers, and Faith Hodge
“I think Long Branch is doing a great job providing affordable housing, but we have to do more at the federal level, because if [the Long Branch Housing Authority] wants to keep getting those grants, we are actually going to have to have more federal dollars,” said Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (D-NJ) at the May 28, 2015 opening of the redevelopment of a senior housing development.
The Atlanticville reported on the event. Washington Manor is a 100-unit development for seniors, veterans and disabled individuals.
“Pallone said a Harvard University study indicates there are significantly more people seeking affordable housing than the number of units that are available.
He also said recent sequester cuts in the federal budget have significantly decreased the amount of Section 8 housing vouchers available.
‘There is something like 67,000 Section 8 vouchers that were lost due to sequestration and they do need to be restored,’ Pallone said.”
Rental assistance provides an important stepping stone that helps working families, people with disabilities, seniors, and veterans to keep a roof over their heads and make ends meet. Vouchers prevent homelessness and help homeless households rebuild their lives. From 2010 to 2014, New Jersey lost 1,900 vouchers due to sequestration.
There are currently 64,596 households in New Jersey using rental vouchers. Nearly 90% of these households are seniors, people with disabilities, or families with children. Without rental assistance these households would have to make tough choices between paying for housing and putting food on the table or paying for life-saving medication.
It is critical that Congress in the fiscal year (FY) 16 budget provide:
$18.3 billion to renew all vouchers in use at the end of 2015 and an additional $512 million to restore the 67,000 vouchers lost to sequestration and target those vouchers to homelessness and other vulnerable populations and
$2.02 billion for administrative fees to help housing authorities administer the Housing Choice Voucher program.
“’We had the recession, we have stagnant wages and we have increased cost of living, so more and more people in the last few years have the need but there are fewer vouchers available today.’”