TUKWILA, Wash. - The King County Housing Authority announced Thursday that it has suspended the issuance of Section 8 vouchers due to the financial impact of sequestration.
The automatic across-the-board budget cuts will reduce federal funding for the housing authority starting Friday. As a result, thousands of families that have applied to the housing authority’s general waiting list will not be able to receive Section 8 Housing Choice vouchers.
In a typical month, the housing authority provided between 45 and 50 vouchers to elderly or disabled households, veterans and families with children. The vouchers provide rental assistance for those in need.
"Low-income families and individuals struggling with high unemployment in the aftermath of the recession or living on limited fixed incomes and dealing with rising housing costs should not be shut out of critical safety net programs because of gridlock in Washington, D.C.," said Stephen Norman, executive director of the King County Housing Authority.
"Sequestration will result in some 600 fewer families in our local communities receiving crucial rental assistance over the next year. Because rents are so high, many of these families may, quite literally, find themselves out on the street as a result of these arbitrary budget cuts," he added.
Another impact of the budget cuts could be reduced management services and delayed repairs at public housing sites in King County.
Norma Owens has lived in public housing for eight years, and she is concerned about how budget cuts will impact her building.
"To me it is like forgetting us, throwing us out. We can't be thrown out," said Owens.
Learn more about the suspended issuance of Section 8 Vouchers