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Shrinking Housing Subsidies for the Homeless Raise Questions

Monday, April 19, 2010

Housing subsidies for homeless families are about to get less generous. Homeless advocates are skeptical about the change and so are brokers who rent apartments to low-income families. WNYC's Cindy Rodriguez has more.

REPORTER: Right now the city covers most of the rent for homeless families for up to two years after they leave a shelter, but the new plan requires families to make a much larger contribution. Broker Edward Guggenheim says many landlords won't want to rent to homeless families, fearing they won't be able to pay the rent.

EDWARD GUGGENHEIM: There's no way this can work because, first of all, there's no way the tenants will be able to pay 30 percent of their income let alone half the rent. It just won't happen.

REPORTER: The city says the higher contributions are similar to what is required under the Section 8 federal housing program that thousands of landlords work successfully with each year.

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