Section 8 Housing

Ellen Perry's picture

Multiple strains on Section 8 housing are creating major worry for those who depend on affordable housing in Orange County. 

The recent floods are perhaps receiving the most news coverage.

However, General Service Corporation, which according to the Chapel Hill News, owns nine apartment complexes in Chapel Hill and Carrboro, recently announced that it will no longer accept rent vouchers. This means that as leases run out in the coming months, low income citizens will be thrown into housing crisis. With so little affordable housing available already, GSC's announcment means that the properties available to low-income renters will be even more sparse and hard to come by.

Additionally, a letter from Tara Fikes, Orange County Housing Director, that went out to HUD recipients this past week cited the federal sequestration as a strain on local budgets.  "Here in Orange County, this will mean a reduction of more than $250,000 in how much our Section 8 program will have available to pay in rental assistance," the letter stated.

Any one of these three things would be a major blow to affordable housing in Orange County. All three of them at once is too much for us to handle. Already at-risk populations will be bearing the brunt in the coming months if we don't do something.  

Tags: 

issue: 

Total votes: 1

3 Comments

Ellen Perry's picture

Text of Tara Fikes

Orange CountyDepartment of Housing,Human Rights andCommunity DevelopmentOrange Countlr Housing Ar.rthoritlrJune24,2013Dear Section 8 Landlords and Tenants:This letter contains important information about funding for Orange County's Housing ChoiceVoucher (Section 8) program. ****NO ACTION IS REQUIRED ON YOUR PART.****As you are likely awarq the inability of the Congress to pass legislation on budget deficitreduction required the President to sign a "Sequestration Order" on March lr2013 reducingthe Federal Government's spending for the remainder of this fiscal year about $85 billion. As apartner or participant in the Section 8 program, you are entitled to clear and timely informationon the impact this funding reduction may have on you.Here in Orange County, this will mean a reduction of more than $250,000 in how much ourSection 8 program will have available to pay in rental assistance. We are presently taking stepsto minimize the impact of these changes for you, our program participants, and will keep youinformed of any direct impacts of these changes in the future. Please note that at this time therewill be NO changes in funding for current participants.If you have Internet access and would like to follow developments on the impact of thesequester, please visit the HUD website at the following URLhttp://porlal.hud.eov/hudportal/HUD?src:/sequestration:infomation. We will also postupdated information on our website - http://orangecountync.govlhousing/whatsnew.asp. Youmany also call the HUD Helpline at 1-800-955-2232.We appreciate your partnership and participation in the Housing Choice Voucher prograln aswell as your patience and cooperation as we work through these changes. If you need additionalinformation, please feel free to contact our office at the number below.Mailing AddressP.O. Box B lB IHillsborough. NC2727BMain Office100 W. Tryon StreetHillsborough, NC 27278satellite office2501 Homestead RoadChapel Hill, NC 27516TDD {9 l 9) 644-3045ara L. FikesDirectorTelephone {919]|245-2490' Faxi9l9)644-3056 . 6Ellen

disability rightsa

Ellen,

There is very little we can do legally about the cuts in federally funded programs due to sequestration.  All federal programs were cut including Disability Rights NC.  This is something Congress must resolve.  You might want to consider writing the NC congressional delegation explaining how sequestration has impacted the availability of  Section 8 housing in Chapel Hill. 

 Disability Rights NC can not use our federal $ to organize the grassroots and has limits on our ability to lobby Congress.

I on vacation the rest of this week and then travel to CA for fiscal trng the following week where we will learn more about the long term impact of sequestration.

Sadly, Federal dollars will be reduced each year for the next nine years unless Congress changes their current course.

Vicki

Vicki Smith, Executive Director
Disability Rights NC

judith blau

Hello all, 

Jose knows someone at the HUD office in Raleigh, and today I talked with two people in the national office. They said that we have grounds for filling a report.. Here is the exact wording -

"Housing discrimination based on your race, color, national origin, religion, sex, family status, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability is illegal by federal law. If you have been trying to buy or rent a home or apartment and you believe your rights have been violated, you can file a fair housing complaint." 

Both people with whom I spoke interpreted "national origins" to mean that non-U.S. citizens cannot be discriminated against. 

I propose that we have another meeting -- after Jose talks with the person in Raleigh, and after Beto and Alex collect documentation on discrimination. Then we consider filing complaints against the owners of apartment complexes.