New York’s Section 8 Problem

Ending the Perfect Storm: Finding Solutions and Identifying Alternatives for New York’s Section 8 Problem

Thursday, April 15, 2010 Press Contact: Steve Mangione 718-518-1600 or 914-403-4072
With the New York City Housing Authority recently canceling 2,800 Section-8 housing vouchers and the threat of revocation of an additional 10,000 vouchers, New York State Senate Majority Leader Pedro Espada, Jr. (Chairman, Senate Committee on Housing, Construction and Community Development) and Senator Daniel Squadron (Chairman, Senate Committee on Social Services) held a joint public hearing today to address how to restore this much-needed rent-subsidized housing program for thousands of low-income families at the Borough of Manhattan Community College.

“With more families than ever unable to afford their rent during this economic crisis, this is not the time to suspend or cancel rent-subsidy programs – not at a time when low-income and working poor families need this support lifeline the most,” Senator Espada said. “These families will plunge into homelessness and be forced into shelters if we don’t find solutions and ways to restore and preserve Section-8 and other low-income housing and rent-subsidy programs.”

One of these solutions, says Sen. Espada, is his Rent Freeze Bill, which would provide a rent freeze to tenants of rent-stabilized apartments whose annual income is $45,000 or less and pay 33% or more of their income toward rent. More than 600,000 poor and low- and middle-income working families in the five boroughs, including tens of thousands in the 33rd district, would benefit from this rent freeze.
“This would keep money in the pockets of tenants who need real help during this economic crisis. It means families would have more money for food, clothes and other necessities,” Sen. Espada said.