Congress has not treated these housing programs kindly in recent years.
Between 2010 and 2012, financing fell by about $2.5 billion, or nearly 6 percent, although some of this was mitigated by one-time measures, like spending from reserves.
President Obama's budget for the 2013 fiscal year is not much of an improvement; given inflation, Congress would have to increase appropriations just to keep treading water, when, in fact, what the poor in this country need is a significant jump. The administration obviously needs to do better.
The number of families eligible for this program has grown significantly since the start of the recession.
Last year, for example, 8.5 million very-low-income families without housing assistance paid more than half their incomes for housing - an increase of 43 percent from 2007.
These families skimp on food and medical care to make the rent and tend to move often, making it difficult for their children to be successful at school. They are also more prone to homelessness, which is traumatic for them and extremely costly for the municipalities that run shelters.
Well, duh! Reagan cut housing assistance by 80%.
Incomes have been flat for decades while housing costs have soared.
And then the Great Recession and even more wage reductions, layoffs, the housing debacle, and long-term unemployment.
In August, 2010, I wrote Section 8 Housing is Big Business
In 2008, the Center on Budget Policies wrote: The President’s budget fails to provide funding increases in HUD’s three main rental assistance programs needed to sustain assistance for the low-income families now being served:
To renew all Housing Choice vouchers in use, an increase of $868 million is needed in 2009 (or $1.3 billion above the President’s level, which would eliminate vouchers for at least 100,000 families).
The Public Housing Operating Fund requires $920 million above the 2008 level (and $820 million above the President’s budget) to prevent the deterioration (and ultimate loss) of affordable units.
The budget also fails to address adequately a one-time, multi-billion-dollar shortfall in the Section 8 Project-Based Rental Assistance program, which risks the loss of thousands of affordable apartments for some of the nation’s most vulnerable families.
States have been cutting aid for affordable housing as well.
Back in 2009, NYTimes reported Thousands Lose Rent Vouchers in Cutback
In 2011, Mother Jones reported House GOPers Looking to Gut Public Housing
We have a housing crisis that has been building since the crash.
BEFORE HURRICANE SANDY - New York Acts Quickly Amid Sharp Rise in Homelessness
The homeless population in New York City has jumped sharply over the last year, causing a record number of people to enter the shelter system. The increase has forced the Bloomberg administration to open nine more shelters in just the last two months — sometimes with only a few weeks’ notice to surrounding neighborhoods.Meanwhile, over in Finland, they are on course to end homelessness in a couple of years. Granted, a much smaller country. Nonetheless, with intention and dedication the same can be achieved in America, the "greatest country on earth"
Who are we?
What are our collective values?
What has been done to make sure housing affordable exists as wages have been flat for decades and housing costs have soared?
Not enough, not nearly enough.
Are we to become nomadic society living in campers, traveling from one location to find a few weeks/months of income?
Or perhaps the world leaders can come up with some form of traveling vouchers, so we can ship our family members here and/or there around the world for a chance to make some income?