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Coalition Calls on NYC to Address ‘Section 8 Disaster’ – The Epoch Times

;With more than 2,600 NYC families losing their Section 8 vouchers, several elected officials called on Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration to provide some extra support for the families.

The coalition of elected officials, which includes U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler, Rep. Yvette Clark and Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, said if something isn’t done to address the Section 8 situation, the families will be living on the streets.

The voucher program “is a lifeline for the poorest and most vulnerable New Yorkers,” said Rep. Nadler. “For the working poor, the disabled, and people on public assistance, Section 8 vouchers are often a family’s only chance of avoiding the shelter system.”

If some of these families move to the city’s burgeoning shelter system, it would cost the city more, as Section 8 vouchers provide $800 for families and it would cost approximately $3,000 to keep a family in the shelter system, according to the New York Communities for Change.

A portion of the families who receive support via the vouchers were domestic-violence victims, police-protected witnesses, and children coming out of the foster care system.

“Federal elected officials have brought back millions of dollars for housing—it’s time for the city to step up and find a way to keep our domestic-abuse victims safe,” Rep. Clark proclaimed.

Due to the economic downturn, Congress cut $58 million from the Section 8 program last year, which forced NYCHA to take away several thousand vouchers.

NYCHA spokeswoman Sheila Stainback, in an e-mail said, “NYCHA is working actively and aggressively to secure more funds for its Section 8 program.”

The agency has received $26 million in federal aid in the past several weeks.

In March, 38,000 people and more than 10,000 families slept in New York City’s shelter system, according to the Coalition for the Homeless.