Sequestration cuts initiated on March 1 of this year have caused substantial shortfalls in funding to renew the Housing Choice Vouchers that more than 2.1 million low-income households use to rent modest private-market housing at an affordable cost.
About 125,000 to 185,000 people could lose housing assistance via state and local housing agencies by the end of next year if sequestration cuts remain in place, according to an analysis by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP).
Many of the 2,300 state and local housing agencies that administer housing vouchers are reducing the number of families that receive assistance by no longer reissuing vouchers when current families leave the program, the CBPP says.
“We estimate that 40,000 to 65,000 fewer low-income families will be using housing vouchers by December 2013, compared to a year earlier,” writes Douglas Rice for the CBPP. “Moreover, these cuts will deepen considerably in 2014 if sequestration continues and voucher program funding remains essentially flat.”
Those affected are mostly low-income seniors, people with disabilities, and working families with children who are currently on waiting lists for assistance.
These households typically have incomes below the poverty line and struggle to pay for housing costs that consume well over half of the household budget, making it more difficult to pay for other essentials and placing them at risk of falling behind on the rent.