Days numbered for Section 8; city officials continue phasing out the housing subsidy

(12/04/04) SOUNDVIEW - Days are numbered for Section 8 vouchers in the Bronx as city officials are phasing out the housing subsidy. The cuts have been in the works for the past two years. It is the latest step in a 2-year-old program called Housing Stabilization Plus.

Mayor Bloomberg says by 2007, the program will put $3 billion into building and restoring more than 65,000 homes and apartments. Instead of Section 8 vouchers, homeless and low-income residents will collect a subsidy that decreases 20 percent each year for five years.

Some advocates for the homeless criticize the plan, saying it will become more difficult for Bronx residents to find permanent housing.

Bronx and city residents who already participate in the Section 8 program will continue to receive checks for as long as they are eligible. But anyone who recently qualified must find housing by December 19 or lose the benefit. Some folks can still apply for Section 8 vouchers under certain circumstances, including domestic violence cases.

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