Last week, the City announced a plan to address the Section 8 voucher crisis, protecting 6,500 families from losing their vouchers. A solution to this crisis has been one of the principal agenda items of the Progressive Caucus, and the subject of several hearings and rallies at City Hall.
The $32 million plan announced last Thursday will solve NYCHA’s budget shortfall that had put 4,000 families at risk of losing their vouchers and also reinstate subsidies for the roughly 2,500 families whose vouchers had been revoked last December. The plan utilizes federal dollars, including budget reserves from the Section 8 program administered by NYC’s Housing Preservation and Development’s (HPD), and funding from the City Council.
Of the 2,500 families who had previously lost their vouchers, 1,500 will receive either Section 8 vouchers through HPD, or a new rental subsidy being created by HPD from other streams of federal funding. The new rental subsidy will be modeled after Section 8, and those families receiving this subsidy will eventually be picked up by NYCHA’s Section 8 program when more funding becomes available. To make up for this reallocation of federal funds, the City Council has committed to providing HPD with $7 million in capital funding.
For the remaining 1,000 families, NYCHA will issue vouchers in order of need, based on risk factors that include previous shelter history, victims of domestic violence, intimidated witnesses, families awaiting unification with children in foster care pending suitable housing, and families with new lease commitments.