What you should know about: Proposed Cuts to the Continuum of Housing in the FY12 Budget

April 29, 2011

Housing Production Trust Fund ($18 million reduction)
The Fund is intended to be used to build new affordable housing and preserve housing as affordable. These funds are being taken to replace local funds cut from Local Rent Supplement Program vouchers and other rental vouchers.

The impact:

  • Only $9 million would be left available for production of new affordable housing and preservation through the tenant purchase process in the Fund this year – severely limiting the ability of the Fund to meet it’s intended goal of housing production.
  • This cut is part of the 2012 – 2015 financial plan, which means it will apply every year.  As a result, the total available for development and preservation would fall to only $5 million in FY15.
  • The entire local appropriation for the Local Rent Supplement Program and other rental vouchers has been removed from the budget.
  • This still reflects a Housing Authority Subsidy cut of $823,000.

Local Rent Supplement Program
This is the key local funding for rental assistance through vouchers and project-based assistance. Under the proposed changed, no new vouchers will be issued, including vouchers that become available as families leave the program. This policy change is permanent, and reflects the undoing of a commitment to the Local Rent Supplement Program by the Gray administration.

Housing First Program ($4 million reduction)
Mayor Gray proposes to gain these “savings” in this key permanent supportive housing program by moving residents onto federal vouchers and LRSP-funded units scheduled to open soon.  This would move residents currently served by one program into slots that should be used to serve new residents.

Taken together these changes make it virtually impossible for new families to access affordable housing by:

  • Reducing the number of federal vouchers available to residents not currently served by Housing First
  • Reducing the number of new  LRSP units available to residents not currently served by Housing First
  • Eliminating new vouchers from LRSP
  • Limiting Trust Fund dollars to an amount that would only produce a few hundred units over the next four years

These changes work against the idea of a Continuum of Housing. At a time when we need more affordable housing, they limit the number of affordable units that will be available for residents in the future. After demonstrating a commitment to moving residents out of homelessness by initiating the Housing First Program, they are now restricting mobility by limiting options to permanent affordable housing.  As our neighborhoods change rapidly, they ignore the need of tenants to access the Housing Production Trust Fund to maintain their housing as affordable

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