We encourage all our partner organizations to use this resource as a template to spread the word about sequestration. Share it in its entirety or change it up to make it your own. The more this message is tied to local impact the louder our voices will go.
Sequestration: The Consequence of Inaction
Elected leaders in DC are once again considering significant reductions in housing and homelessness programs. Under H.R. 8 American Taxpayer Relief Act, 8.2% across-the-board cuts are scheduled to occur in March. The state of Pennsylvania would lose $150 million dollars if these cuts, called “sequestration” take place as scheduled. This is part of the Budget Control Act of 2011. Sequestration was adopted on the belief that it is so bad; congress would never let it happen. But in fact, unless we as citizens influence them to find alternatives, these drastic cuts will become reality. In addition to the loss of $150M to PA just in housing funds, an estimated 6250 vulnerable people living on extremely low incomes would lose their housing assistance. In other words, people who are stably housed could lose their homes.
Drastic cuts to proven programs
• McKinney Vento Homeless Assistance helped reduce homelessness in PA by 2,000 people between 2007 and 2010, in rural, suburban, and urban areas. Due the recession, some areas are now seeing increases in homelessness. McKinney Vento funding helps to reverse this trend with cost-effective solutions.
• CDBG and HOME create affordable homes, vibrant communities, and JOBS – and they move markets. Every $1 invested in the housing market turns into $1.62 – $2.28 in economic activity, creating jobs and tax revenue. These are core development drivers in underserved markets.
• Housing Counseling has been proven to keep people in their homes by negotiating payment plans between lenders and borrowers. Especially during this ongoing foreclosure crisis, it is essential to fund housing counseling.
• Public Housing and Housing Choice Vouchers provide homes for the most vulnerable among us – senior citizens, people with disabilities, and low wage families with an average annual income of about $15,000 a year.
• Section 202 and Section 811 help our elderly neighbors and people with disabilities avoid nursing home placement, which would cost the government $45,000 a year.
• Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP) prevents homelessness by helping people who hit a rough patch avoid displacement through one-time grants for security deposits and back rent. Providing emergency shelter is 10 times as costly as preventing it.
• USDA Section 502 Direct Homeownership allows low income families in rural areas to become homeowners, putting down roots and giving back to their communities. 153 families made investments in Pennsylvania with 502 loans in FY 2012.
• USDA Section 504 loans and grants allow homeowners to maintain and upgrade their homes. The $1.5M invested in 2012 helped 292 households and created an additional $2M in economic impact: jobs, production of supplies, and tax revenue.
• USDA Rental Assistance, like HUD’s Housing Choice Voucher program, support private landlords by closing the gap between what low wage workers and people on fixed income can afford to pay and what private owners need in order to offer quality rental homes. Rental assistance supports a healthy rental market.
Fight for what matters
We can’t afford for to slash programs that are working and are addressing pressing needs in our community. We can’t afford anymore homelessness. Urge Congress not to cut HUD programs but instead to continue to support housing and homelessness programs that work for all of us.
Events sponsored by the Housing Alliance [Copy and paste provided links]