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Thursday, February 28, 2013
Sequestration Scare Tactics: Caldwell Administration Threatens Sec 8 Housing Evictions
By News Release @ 4:28 AM :: 5501 Views :: Honolulu County, National News, Homelessness

From Honolulu Section 8 Housing Assistance Payments Program

Dear Section 8 Participant,    February 21, 2013

Congress and President Obama continue to work on the federal budget for calendar year 2013. Therefore, at this time, the City's Section 8 funding is still subject to change. We are providing answers to some of the questions you may have. If the City's funding is reduced, and we are required to take action, we will notify affected families and landlords immediately. For the most current information, please monitor our website at www.honolulu.gov/dcs/rentalassistance.htm .

Q: What is this about? How does this affect me and my family?

A: Congress is considering the entire federal budget and automatic budget cuts to domestic programs that are scheduled to take effect March 1, 2013. At this moment, everything is status quo. However, if Section 8 funding decreases, your housing assistance may be terminated.

Q: Who decides which families get terminated?

A: Based on our final approved funding, we will determine how many families we can afford to assist. For example, if the funding is enough to cover 2,700 families and our agency is currently assisting 3,000 families, 300 of the families receiving assistance will be affected.

Our administrative rules state that we must terminate Housing Assistance Payments (HAP) contracts by the most recent date of admission. This means the last families who were admitted to the program will be cut first. If your housing assistance is terminated because of insufficient funding, your application will be placed back on the waiting list.

Q: What if my lease doesn't end until after the notice?

A: If the HAP contract is terminated, the lease between you and the landlord will also terminate. If you wish to remain in the same unit without the subsidy, you need to negotiate a new lease with the landlord.

Q: When will the agency find out about the approved funding?

A: Once the budget is approved by the President and Congress, the funding information is sent to the respective federal agencies. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will calculate the funding for each of the housing agencies and then send out a notification. In the past, it took HUD up to two months to calculate and send out the funding notification. As soon as we receive the notification and determine how many families we can afford to assist, we will send out notices to the affected families and landlords with at least 30-days notice.

Q: What can I do to help?

A: Please monitor our website for updated information. You may also contact your congressional leaders to let them know your concerns.

In the meantime, we ask you to be patient with services and continue to assist with money-saving measures. Please keep your scheduled appointments and have your unit ready when it is time for your unit inspection.

Please be understanding of processing delays as the volume of phone calls and transactions increase. We appreciate your patience.

Aloha,

Pamela A. Witty-Oakland

Director Designate

  *   *   *   *   *

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