Congressman Nadler Calls for 100,000 New Housing Vouchers

Apr 30, 2001 Issues: Housing

WASHINGTON – Noting that a desperately needed housing program is severely underfunded, Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) today called on the Chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Veterans Affairs, Housing and Urban Development, and Independent Agencies (VA-HUD), to include $580 million in additional funds in their Fiscal Year 2002 appropriations bill for 100,000 new Section-8 vouchers.

“In a 1999 report, HUD determined that ‘the Section 8 tenant-based voucher program remains by far the most effective and cost-efficient means of eliminating worst case needs,’” wrote Rep. Nadler, in a letter to the subcommittee chair, Jim Walsh.  “Unfortunately, the Section 8 program is severely underfunded.”

Rep. Nadler led 41 of his colleagues in signing the letter.

Section 8 rental assistance allows families to enter the private housing market and choose where they want to live, helping them to escape from the cycle of poverty and creating a better income mix throughout our communities.  By reducing housing costs, these vouchers can free up funds within the budgets of low-income families for other necessary expenses, such as child care, health care and transportation.  Section 8 assistance also allows for a stable home, enabling children to maintain attendance rates and improve their educational performance.   For over one million families that currently receive vouchers, Section 8 is more than a contract or a subsidy, it is often the foundation upon which they can build lifelong economic self-sufficiency.

By the latest estimates, 4.9 million low-income families (nearly11 million people) spend more than half of their income on rent or live in severely substandard housing.  Not one of these 4.9 million families receives any housing assistance.  The average wait for those entering the Section 8 program is approximately two years and can be significantly longer in larger cities.

We are thankful that Congress has seen fit to gradually increase Section 8 vouchers the past three years.  President Bush has demonstrated tepid support of the Section 8 program by requesting $197 million for 34,000 incremental vouchers,” said Rep. Nadler.  “But we must build on this support and continue the progress of the last three years.  By building 100,00 new Section-8 vouchers.”

Rep. Nadler has served in Congress since 1992.  He represents the 8th Congressional District of New York, which includes parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn.  A copy of the letter is available by calling the Washington, DC office.