People who have lost their homes could be hard-hit by sequestration cuts

    Housing advocates are warning that the looming sequestration could hit families in the Philadelphia region.  

    Liz Hersh said she’s tired of hearing on the news about how the impact of the cuts is overblown.  The Director of the Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania said for people without a permanent home, the cuts are real.  “Pennsylvania stands to lose between $60 and $90 million in HUD and USDA housing and homeless dollars in 2013 if the sequestration goes through.” 

    Hersh said spending cuts could make it harder for people who lost their homes.  “Remember in 2010 there were 100,000 foreclosures in Pennsylvania?  Those folks are still out there.”  Hersh said when some of that money goes away, the same amount of help simply won’t be available.  She said keeping unemployed people from losing their houses in the first place can save money in the long run. 

    Hersh hopes discussion of the across-the-board budget cuts will bring to mind people like Jennifer Enoch.  The Bucks County mother of two and her husband both lost their jobs a few years ago, leaving the family homeless. 

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    Enoch said the services the couple and their children received helped them survive as a family. “We received help from the American Red Cross shelter. We even received help from loan services that were provided to us. We are currently in bridge and transitional housing, which allows us to live with reduced rent.” 

    Enoch said without that help, her family would have struggled a lot more. Now they’re in transitional housing and her husband is in nursing school. She was recently laid off from another job as an administrative assistant, because the company was downsizing, but Enoch is confident her family is going to make it.

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