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Council News Release

7/19/2004  3:20:00 AM
Mike Fong: 206-684-8808

Section 8 is a critical tool that helps meet the housing needs of 12,000 Seattle Citizens.

SEATTLE The Seattle City Council unanimously approved a resolution today urging Congress not to cut funds to the federal Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program. In April, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced it would retroactively cut funding to housing authorities across the country. The Bush Administration has proposed an additional $1.6 billion cut to Section 8 for 2005, which would result in an additional loss of more than 250,000 vouchers nationwide.

Twelve-thousand people in our communities in Seattle alone depend on Section 8 subsidies to meet their months rent, said Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, sponsor of the resolution.

There are more than two million Section 8 rent assistance vouchers in effect nationally. The program, the nations most significant housing support to the poor, was established in 1974 as a movement from public housing projects to a system that involved the private sector in addressing the need for affordable housing. Recipients pay at least 30 percent of their income toward rent and the program pays the balance directly to landlords.

Rasmussen held a Council Forum on Section 8 last week. He will be in Washington D.C. this week, meeting with Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell and Congressmen Jim McDermott, Rick Larsen and Jay Inslee about the future of Section 8. Hell share with them Seattles support for continued funding.

Seattle has more than 1,700 homeless people on our streets and another 3,700 in transitional housing on any given night and we cannot afford to lose our housing options, said Rasmussen. Hes looking forward to working with Washington States national delegation to assure a future for Section 8.


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