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Your Congressional representatives need to hear about the proposed dismantling of the Housing of Choice Voucher Program (HCVP) program. Copy the following to the clipboard, add your name and address, sign, and send to your representative(s).
Please review very carefully the current Fiscal Year 2005 HUD budget proposal to make drastic revisions to the Section 8 Housing of Choice Voucher Program (HCVP) and replace it with a Flexible Voucher Program to be administered by local housing authorities.
The proposal has severe cuts in funding from this year's actual funding level and is structured to most severly impact disabled persons who are altogether too often the least able to deal with such a change.
To add insult, this proposed Flexible Voucher Program to replace the Housing of Choice Vouchers would eliminate many important protections that people with disabilities have under the existing Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program.
The proposal raises the minimum income level to qualify for assistance. This would eliminate targeting to the lowest-income households. Which in turn would negate the targeting requirement in the current Section 8 program that has helped extremely low-income people with disabilities to live in the community.
It appears there are apparently no requirments on income or abiliites in place that under this proposed Flexible Voucher Program, people with disabilities could be required to pay much higher rents & rents that they often cannot afford.
It appears that the local housing authorites could establish arbirary time limits on voucher holders under the Flexible Voucher Program. When a person's disability is permanent, their housing assistance needs to be permanent. A time limited voucher would force people with disabilities back into nursing homes, institutions and other restrictive settings, and homeless shelters.
These considerations are most important for people with Environmental Illnesses who often cannot tolerate much so-called "public" housing. For example a study in Massachusetts reported some 60 percent of the homeless had environmental illnesses.
I respectfully urge you to oppose these ill-advised proposals. The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program is a most important federal housing resource for people with disabilities with the lowest incomes. The program has become a lifeline for people who would otherwise have no chance of living in the community.
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