by Lynda Carson

Oakland – Local housing authorities across the nation are preparing for major cuts to HUD’s Section 8 housing voucher programs (Housing Choice Voucher Program), after being directed in June by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to come up with lists to prioritize which voucher recipients would be dumped in the event of major cuts to the subsidized housing program.

There are over 3,000 public housing authorities across the nation serving over 2 million low-income households in the Section 8 voucher program.

Tens of thousands of low-income families across the nation face homelessness if HUD’s housing programs, including the Section 8 program, are cut any further, and the recent HUD notice telling PHAs to prepare lists of who should be dumped from their Section 8 programs is an ominous sign of a catastrophe in the making.

HUD’s housing programs were cut by around 14 percent during a round of major budget cuts last April, and it appears that an additional 6 percent or more in budget cuts may occur in the near future, to further shred the federal housing programs.

On July 29, it was reported from Cecil County, Maryland: “This is the first time the federal government has ever required us to change our administrative plan to indicate a priority list for voucher recipients. The HUD office is not saying this is going to happen, but they are saying we have to be prepared if it does happen. In the event we have to cut funding, I’m recommending the last to receive funding would be the first to get cut, but other options are available, including a lottery system or cutting the ones who been on the program the longest first,” said Dave Mahaney, director of housing and community development in Cecil County.

According to HUD, 75 percent of Section 8 vouchers are made available to families earning less than 30 percent of the area median income. The tenants have to pay 30 to 40 percent of their income towards rent, and the government subsidizes the rest of the rent payment to the landlords.

According to the Council of Large Public Housing Authorities, 2,357,977 children, 303,499 seniors and 458,124 households that include a disabled member in the family are assisted by the Section 8 program. The seniors, with an annual median income of $9,594, or less represent 16 percent of all Section 8 households. The average income for a family in the Section 8 program is around $11,049.

Locally, the Oakland Housing Authority offers housing assistance to around 15,000 households in the Section 8 voucher program, representing approximately 10 percent of Oakland’s families.

Lynda Carson may be reached at



  1. families across the nation face homelessness if HUD’s housing programs, including the Section 8 program, are cut any further

    you mean if they don't go out and get a job

  2. My tenant is section 8 recipient but works not only full time and also picks overtime. The single mom income rent exceeds her income.

  3. Really, most section 8 people use the system by sell drugs, prostustion, or a part of a gang in some way. They have one person with 2 kids on lease. But they have other people living in the house who have criminal records. They bring down the neighbor hoods. What makes it worst is the system allows own to raise the rent to god amounts because the only people can afford them are people on section 8. An example is a house is $1800-$2000 and and a person on section 8 only paying $300.00. And most of the time they ruin the house.

  4. I pray this doesn't happen, as my family and I aren't on our butts, doing nothing. I go to school full time and my husband works. We don't do drugs, or anything. There are those like us trying to do better, and provide better for our family. This can't happen, we will be on the streets!! Pray the government figures out a way to rectify this.

  5. The government is spending billions of dollars on Iraq and Afghanistan war and now cutting budgets for it's own people. That's ridiculous

  6. For the housing section 8 programs learn not to depend on the government because it will never be forever to depend on. If you're relying on the government you are not really independent. Get out an get a job an become independent for your family. I used to be on housing so I let that go. I got tired of it because you let them get in your business of everything because you sold yourself to the government like you are some kind of a robot. Stop being a co dependent on the government. It's time for the government to stop taking care of people who doesn't want to work and these young women getting cash assistant welfare stuff bringing these sorry bums in to tear down the neighborhood. Learn to get 2 jobs to be independent because that is what I am doing. I am becoming self dependent on my own self. I am so glad that I got off of the housing program since last year. God is blessing me more and more and I am relying on God not no government. You will be sorry if you don't believe this is going to happen with cuts on the housing.

  7. Cost of living is way to high and homeowners aren’t renting there homes out to section 8 participants.Section 8 will no longer be accepted any don’t worry about cuts backs..

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