Section 8 Needs Reform and Expansion
A three part WNYC series aired May 16-18, 2016 gets to the heart of the issues around Section 8 funding.
Created in the 1970s as a better alternative to traditional public housing, “… The program is no longer working the way it was intended.”
The series focuses on three themes:
The Section 8 housing voucher gives low-income people a choice of where to live. But today that choice is increasingly limited to high-poverty neighborhoods on the outskirts of the city.
“Nearly 300,000 New Yorkers live in private apartments paid for with Section 8. And more and more of them, like Sonia Watson, pictured above, are encountering major hurdles in finding landlords who will accept their vouchers, which means they often settle in already marginalized neighborhoods.”
The Section 8 housing voucher is keeping the Hasidic community rooted in one of the hottest real-estate markets in the city.
“The federally funded Section 8 housing voucher is intended to disperse poverty, but in today’s New York it’s having the opposite effect: landlords don’t want to accept the voucher, so voucher holders have to settle in marginalized neighborhoods.”
The program designed to replace public housing is now being used to save it.
“More people live in public housing in New York City than in any other place in North America. But as government funding for public housing has fallen off, buildings and their infrastructure have started to crumble. So the city is turning to the federal Section 8 program — which relies on private-sector involvement — to restore this crucial part of the city’s housing stock. In other words, a program designed to replace public housing is now being used to save it.”
Join us on July 13th for the 2016 Congressional Reception to advocate for reform and expansion of Section 8.