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Sequestration’s Effect on Housing Choice Vouchers

By: Ryan Watson

Blog Category: Housing/Entitlement Programs

On March 1, 2013, President Obama signed an executive order calling for budget cuts across the board.[1] The United States government must cut $85 billion from the budget by October 1, 2013.[2] However, it is not clear from where exactly the entire $85 billion will be cut. We do know that the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program, which provides rental assistance to low-income families, will be cut by $938 million.[3] In 2001, approximately 5 million families were on rental assistance; the number of families has since skyrocketed to 8.5 million families in 2011.[4] The estimation is that over 100,000 families will lose HCV assistance in the next year.[5] Of those 8.5 million families, a large portion are minorities living in urban environments. It seems ironic that President Obama was one of the driving forces behind the sequestration cuts and now seeks to make political gains on the backs of these same people.

The opinions expressed herein are strictly those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Widener Journal of Law, Economics & Race.  

[1] Richard Cowan and Jeff Mason, New Budget Crisis Begins after Washington Fiscal Talks Fail, Reuters, available at http://uk.reuters.com/article/2013/03/01/uk-usa-fiscal-idUKBRE91R1GJ20130301.

[2] Id.

[3] Douglas Rice, Sequestration Cuts Devastate Low-Income Housing Programs, Open Society Foundations, available at http://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/voices/sequestration-cuts-devastate-low-income-housing-programs.

[4] Id.

[5] Id.

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