TENANTS CALL ON CONGRESS AND SENATE TO SAVE AFFORDABLE HOUSING IN FISCAL CLIFF NEGOTIATIONS

TENANTS CALL ON CONGRESS AND SENATE TO SAVE AFFORDABLE HOUSING IN FISCAL CLIFF NEGOTIATIONS

NEW YORK, NY – December 20, 2012 – (RealEstateRama) — Today, the New York State Tenants & Neighbors Coalition joined a group of low-income tenants who live in government-subsidized affordable housing in New York State in sending over 1,000 postcards to House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner and U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, calling on them to fully fund the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) budget. Low-income tenants are extremely concerned about the ongoing “fiscal cliff” negotiations, and potential cuts to the HUD budget that could affect thousands of low-income renters who rely on federal housing subsidies. HUD tenants and the Tenants & Neighbors Coalition are urging the U.S. Senate, the House of Representatives, and President Obama to fully fund the HUD budget, and to ensure that no subsidized tenants lose rental assistance or are made to pay unaffordable rent burdens now or in the future.

Emmanuel Hickson, a project-based Section 8 tenant from Hunts Point in the Bronx said, “I have been a tenant leader at my building, Phoenix Estates, for about seven years. HUD housing is so important to me because people cannot afford to pay higher rents. They have no other alternative- where else are they going to go? So we want to keep track of how much money goes to Section 8 and do something to prevent loss of funding. Our goal is to preserve full funding each year for existing contracts, as well as voucher tenants. My community has hard working people trying to raise children and we don’t want them to have to worry about keeping a roof over their head. HUD funding gives people peace of mind. It allows them to focus on the important things in their lives.”

Emily Goldstein, the Coordinator of Preservation Organizing and Policy at Tenants & Neighbors stated: “If a deal is not reached, the cuts that would go into effect automatically on January 1st are frightening, and would certainly harm low-income tenants and the stability of the housing programs on which they rely. However, a deal that still cuts funding to the HUD budget and other programs that low-income people rely on is not really any better. What we want is a fair budget that does attempt to lower the deficit on the backs of low-income people.”

Government-subsidized affordable housing is an important and successful resource for low-income tenants in New York State and throughout the United States. Tenants & Neighbors members are working to ensure that low-income tenants are not displaced due to political maneuvering.

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