Architecture for Humanity - SF
Saturday, April 30, 2005
Tommi Mecca & Sara Shortt Update on the Threats to Section 8

Here's an urgent message from my co-worker, Sara Shortt, who is working to save Section 8. What's happening right now is that the feds have lowered the payment standard so that for example, with a $1600 one-bedroom, HUD will only pay $1300 for it now. The tenant HAS TO MAKE UP THE $300 DIFFERENCE. Every tenant with a voucher in SF (over 7,300 vouchers!) will get a rent increase this year, anywhere from about $100-400/mo. People on Section 8 canNOT afford these increases. If landlords do not agree to lower the rent down to the new standard or the tenant does not find another place to live, they will end up on the streets or displaced from the city. At this point, thanks to Sara's efforts, Park Merced has agreed to lower the rents for its 160 or so tenants on vouchers. The Board of Supes is holding a hearing to look into this matter...below is info from Sara...

Help save SF's Section 8 Housing!

*We need testimony from tenants and advocates at Monday's Board ofsupervisors Section 8 hearing at 1pm at City Hall. Please attend if you canand encourage others as well. Talking points are below. If you can notattend, please email, write or call your supervisors to let them hear yourthoughts on the issue.
*Listen to KPFA story on Section 8 in SF at :http://www.kpfa.org/archives/archives.php?id=24 (See April 26th and click on"listen")
*See chron article athttp://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2005/04/18/BAG7KCAJHS1.DTL
*Get more info on the status of the Federal Budget at www.cbpp.org

SF Section 8 Cuts -
Talking Points

- We can no longer rely on federal housing funds. Housing for the poor mustbe a priority of local government.
-Any planning or implementation of efforts to end homelessness shouldincorporate solutions to the loss of Section 8 housing. Otherwise, peoplewith homes become homeless, as the city puts others from the streets intohousing.
-Housing development planning and funding should include housing options forthe poorest: $15,000 annual income (average Section 8 tenant income).
-Board should work with Congressional Delegation to fight for full fundingof Section 8 program.
- Do not allow further "ghettoization" of SF. S8 rent increases mean thattenants (who are 72% people of color) will be forced to areas where povertyis already concentrated and which have high crime, less services andsubstandard housing.
- City must expand services to soften the blow on impacted tenants:relocation assistance, housing placement, etc.
-Program cuts mean exodus of families from SF. 2BR units and higher areextremely scarce within the city limits. Families will be forced to leavethe city.

Key Facts about Section 8 Cuts

*50% voucher holders are seniors or disabled. 72% are people of color.
*5,000 famliies will be impacted by rent increases this year. Increasesaverage between $100-$400.
*Housing Authority assistance went down by 13%-16% this year for eachtenant. 2 bedroom was $1775 last year. This year is $1539.
*The Housing Authority has been cut by $5.7 million dollars in 2005. The2006 budget will result in a loss of 300 vouchers.
*25,000 families are currently on the S8 waiting list in SF.
*Average 2 bedroom market-rate rent is $2,323.

Sara Shortt
Housing Rights Committee of San Francisco
427 South Van Ness
San Francisco, CA 94103415-703-8634

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