House decreases cuts to Section 8 vouchers

Friday, August 15, 2003 at 1:00am

While the loss of local Section 8 vouchers is still threatening U.S. cities including Nashville, according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, an amendment to the appropriations bill has decreased the funding cuts of the program.

Even though the House of Representatives recently passed an amendment to move $150 million from the Working Capital Fund of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to Section 8 voucher renewals, the program is still $433 million short, which would translate into the loss of 64,000 vouchers.

The Senate will take up the bill after recess in September.

The National Low Income Housing Coalition reported that on July 31, 17 organizations from the faith community mailed letters to the Senate subcommittee urging the full funding of the voucher program.

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a Washington-based, non-profit research organization conducting analyses on a range of government policies and programs, released a study before the budget hearings last month that estimated that about 184,000 people nationwide could face losing their federal housing subsidies as a result of federal budgeting miscalculations.

In response to that study the House of Representatives has allocated more funding, but, according to housing advocates, it is not enough.

Metro Development and Housing Agency (MDHA) Executive Director Phil Ryan said in a July interview that his department was committed to its clients and will provide housing for all clients.

MDHA has a total of 5,620 vouchers, which is an increase of 1,868 vouchers in the last four years. About 1,300 families are currently on a waiting list for Section 8 Housing in Nashville.

Filed under: City News