[Hpn] section 8 op-ed by Nancy Pelosi

chance martin streetsheet@sf-homeless-coalition.org
Thu, 20 May 2004 12:01:25 -0700

We're offering the following article for reprint by NASNA publications,
providing *NOT ONE WORD IS EDITED OR CHANGED IN ANY WAY* (this especially
means by any editorial staff at the Street News Service).

Other publications can request reprint permission directly from me.



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Republicans Breaking 30-Year Promise on Affordable Housing

By House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi

The budget should be a statement of our national values, but for the fourth
time in four years, Republicans in Congress and President Bush are seeking
to pass a budget that is nothing less than an assault on our national
values. From health care, to job creation, to education, Republican policies
simply do not respond to the challenges facing American families.

Housing is a prime example of distorted Republican priorities. While
Republicans are happy to continue tax cuts for wealthy corporate interests,
they are making cuts that threaten safe and secure homes for thousands of
children and families across the country.

Last month, in the middle of the fiscal year, the Department of Housing and
Urban Development changed the rules and retroactively cut back funds for
housing initiatives. Heartlessly, the Administration is taking housing money
away from needy families who were promised it. This is unheard of in our
history and reveals a new level of aggressiveness on the part of the

This Administration is breaking a 30-year promise to help low-income
families, the elderly, and the disabled to afford decent, safe housing. For
the first time, the government will no longer pay the full cost of rent
vouchers. This will impact not only needy families but also the private
landlords who rent homes to them.

San Francisco is one of the most expensive places to live in the nation, and
any assault on affordable housing will be felt here. Working with
Congressman Barney Frank of Massachusetts, our leader in the House of
Representatives on housing issues, I will fight any attempt to undermine
affordable housing.

The consequences of the new ruling will be devastating. In cities across the
nation, thousands of families that now receive housing support through
Section 8 vouchers could face dramatic rent increases or even eviction from
their homes and apartments during the next few months. The poorest and most
vulnerable families will suffer the most, and these cuts would likely
contribute to homelessness in San Francisco and across the country.

In San Francisco, there are already 27,000 people on the waiting list for
Section 8 housing, and the list has been closed since 2001. We need to
increase access to Section 8 housing, not cut it.

This change is shortsighted, and it is sudden. Clearly, the Administration
has decided not to wait for Congress to weigh in on its new Section 8
proposal, which was included in this year's budget, to reduce and block
grant the voucher program.  It has already drawn criticism from both sides
of the aisle this year. Under the President's 2005 budget, housing
assistance could be cut for 250,000 families across the nation who are
currently receiving Section 8 housing assistance.

These policies are outrageous, and they are wrong. We must ensure that no
family in America loses a safe, decent home in which to raise its kids
because of reckless cuts by this Administration.

(Originally published in STREET SHEET, a publication of the Coalition on
Homelessness, San Francisco: streetsheet@sf-homeless-coalition.org)

=================END ARTICLE =================
chance martin, Project Coordinator
A Publication of the Coalition on Homelessness, San Francisco
468 Turk Street, San Francisco, CA  94102
415 / 346.3740-voice  415 / 775.5639-fax