The New York City Housing Authority might have to revoke rent-assistance vouchers from more than 10,000 low-income tenants, a move that could cause some people to lose their apartments, a published report said today.
The federal government gave the agency less money than expected for the program, known as Section 8, and NYCHA is now struggling with a $45 million budget gap, The New York Times reported. But, NYCHA continued to issue housing vouchers despite the reduction in federal funding, a move that "made matters worse," the Times said.
General Manager Michael P. Kelly tells the Times that the "dire option," which could begin this summer, would be a last resort.
The Housing Authority is seeking federal and state aid. Assistant Secretary Sandra Henriquez of the Department of Housing and Urban Development says the federal government cannot be expected to cover the shortfall.
As an alternative to revoking the vouchers, the housing authority is considering reducing the value that each is worth, meaning that landlords, tenants or both would have to cover the remaining cost.
The magnitude of the problem left several housing experts puzzled, the Times said. New York City has exceeded its voucher cap only once before, by several hundred in 2005, according to Gregory Kern, an agency manager who oversees the Section 8 program.