National Alliance on Mental Illness
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Housing Update: Bush Administration Proposal to Block Grant Section 8 Program Poses Threat to Housing Opportunities for Low-Income People with Mental Illnesses
The Bush Administration’s proposed FY 2005 budget for HUD contains a plan to convert the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program to a block grant to be administered by Public Housing Authorities (PHAs). The Administration is also requesting $1 billion less in FY 2005 than would be needed to renew every current Section 8 voucher under lease. NAMI has joined with colleague disability organizations in the Consortium for Citizens With Disabilities (CCD) Housing Task Force in opposing this proposal. NAMI believes strongly that block granting the Section 8 program as the Administration is proposing, would have disastrous consequences for people with disabilities with extremely low-incomes, in particular recipient of SSI who are on average at 18% of area median income.
NAMI shares a number of concerns about this proposal with CCD other advocacy groups:
NAMI is urging Congress to reject this shortsighted proposal. NAMI believes that there are alternative ways to increase local flexibility in the Section 8 program without harming the most vulnerable extremely low-income voucher recipients. In addition, Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates make clear that the escalation of outlays under the program for contract renewals in recent years (the principal justification for this proposal) will be leveling off in FY 2005 and 2006. NAMI feels strongly that the Section 8 program needs to remain a viable affordable housing resource for extremely low-income people with disabilities.
For more information on this proposal, including the CCD Housing Task Force paper, click on: