Sequester will make lines for Philadelphia Housing Authority units longer

Sequestration is hitting the Philadelphia Housing Authority. It will mean hundreds if not thousands of those seeking affordable housing in Philadelphia will be denied.

Philadelphia Housing Authority Interim Executive Director Kelvin Jeremiah says his budget will lose $42 million this year. That will mean a combination of furloughs, drastic cuts to service and a freeze on issuing new housing vouchers.

“What it means for the folks who are already on our wait list, who have been waiting years for housing that wait is going to be extended,” said Jeremiah. “It means our ability to turn over units that have been vacated will take longer.”

Jeremiah says PHA is still working on how many more people will be denied. He can’t understand why congress and the president are letting this happen.

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“These cuts are devastating cuts, and in my view they are irresponsible,” he said. “Sequestration for me equals irresponsible leadership in Washington.”

Since the housing authority receives about 90 percent of its funding from the federal government, the cut will equal about 10 percent of PHA’s entire budget.

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