Scenes from the Sequester: Chances Dwindle for Finding an Affordable Place to Live

By Nancy Wilberg Ricks, Senior Policy Communications Strategist, Wealth-Building Policy Project, NCLR

federalbudget_bookWelcome to our new video blog series. We’re kicking it off with a general perspective on the sequester and how something as seemingly basic as the roof over our heads can become a casualty of arbitrary budget cuts. As our nation trudges through this period of diminishing opportunity and public services, a byproduct of shameful political one-upmanship, we must keep in mind that further cuts can be avoided by replacing the sequester with sound budgetary improvements.

In today’s video (above), we feature Jose Ramos, Executive Director of the Spanish American Social Cultural Association in Willingboro, New Jersey. He expresses how the nation will continue to experience financial insecurity and lose some of its most vital services that would help reboot our economy. Our families are keenly aware of these losses while they struggle to find a safe and affordable place to live. As we move further down the path of misguided politics that got us here, consider the following effects of the sequester and remember that it is not too late to turn things around:

  • Roughly 125,000 individuals and families, including elderly and disabled persons, could lose benefits from the Housing Choice Voucher program and be at risk of becoming homeless.
  • More than 100,000 formerly homeless people, including veterans, will be removed from their current housing and emergency shelter programs.
  • 75,000 fewer households could receive foreclosure prevention, pre-purchase, rental, or homeless counseling through housing counseling grants.
  • The sequester will prevent states and communities that receive HOME grants from building and rehabilitating 2,100 affordable housing units for low-income families.

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