BOSTON – Diane Sullivan used to be homeless, but thanks to a Section 8 voucher she receives from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, she is able to rent a home for herself and her children.
In a new video from the American Federation of Government Employees, Diane says she’s worried that she may lose her home due to federal budget cuts that have forced HUD to eliminate vouchers for 85,000 people since 2013.
“If I lose my Section 8 because of a funding drop, I lose my housing and I become homeless, and I do not want my children going through that experience again,” she says.
Diane is not alone. More than five million families across the country, including thousands in the Boston area alone, rely on federal housing assistance to keep a roof over their heads.
Many communities use HUD grants as the seed money for purchasing or building housing for people in need. In the Boston suburb of Malden, HUD funds from the Community Development Block Grant and HOME Investment Partnerships programs were used to rehabilitate a multi-family house into a home for 12 adults with disabilities.
“There was the real possibility that this may have become market-rate housing,” says Malden Mayor Gary Christenson. “If it wasn’t for the federal government’s CDBG Program and HOME Program, we wouldn’t have been able to do this project.”
The AFGE video is one in a series of videos documenting the impact of HUD programs in local communities.
“HUD employees administer vital programs that benefit our most vulnerable citizens, revitalize neglected neighborhoods, and help millions of families realize the American dream of home ownership,” AFGE National President J. David Cox Sr. said. “Now that Congress has suspended sequestration for the next two years, it’s time to provide HUD with the resources it needs to continue its important work.”