Savaging the safety net

By Douglas Feiden

From Avenue A to West 145th Street, roughly 2,000 of the city’s most vulnerable residents just got the scare of their lives.

For 35 harrowing days, as the government shutdown dragged on, they faced the threat of being forced from their homes.

It didn’t happen. But the abrupt cutoff of federal funding for supportive housing programs had placed them at huge risk.

And though the government reopened last week, they’ll be endangered anew if there is another shutdown on Feb. 15 when a three-week stopgap spending bill passed on Jan. 25 runs out.

At issue are three subsidized programs that came to a screeching halt when the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development suddenly lost its Congressional authorization to bankroll them.

The shortfall impacted HUD’s Section 8 Project-Based Rental Assistance program, which contracts with private property owners who then rent to households with incomes averaging $13,500 a year or less.

Read the full article here.

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