Budget Cuts May Place Housing Vouchers for Homeless in Peril

Governor Andrew Cuomo's budget proposes eliminating funding for a certain type of housing voucher created by the Bloomberg Administration that is used by homeless families and single adults to move out of shelters and into permanent apartments. The vouchers help subsidize their rent for up to two years.

The city used to move people out of shelters using federally funded Section 8 housing vouchers, but the Bloomberg Administration ended that practice several years ago ultimately creating a housing voucher funded by the city and the state.

According to the Mayor, the state is proposing to cut $192 million from the program through fiscal year 2012. The amount covers roughly 70 percent of the total budget for the vouchers.

"The bottom line is we cannot continue without help to maintain the current level of subsidies for low income housing," Bloomberg said while testifying in Albany.

According to the Department of Homeless Services, more than 8,500 homeless families and single adults used the voucher to move out of city shelters last year -- just over half the total shelter population.

While the state's budget office did not respond directly to questions about the housing the voucher, it did release a written statement saying it plans to work with the mayor to address the serious fiscal situation.