Republicans propose HUD section 8 changes

The Housing and Urban Development Department, which runs the section 8 housing choice voucher program, is being targeted by Trump and Republican budgets for cutbacks. Any family who is enrolled should be prepared for changes in 2019 and beyond. There are two major changes proposed. They include the following:

  • First, less money to pay for rent assistance from the section 8 vouchers, and the program may be cut by 11.2 percent in 2019…which equates to billions of dollars.
  • Similar to other government benefits, the Republicans will try to make beneficiaries either work, volunteer more and/or pay more of the cost of their housing.

The work requirement is being pushed by Republicans for section 8 rent vouchers as well as other benefit programs, including SNAP food stamps, Medicaid, and cash assistance. The work requirements (or volunteering/job training) will apply to any able bodied adult. If the recipient of the HUD voucher is not disabled or elderly, they may need to work or volunteer up to 32 hours per week.

We at are always in favor of people having to somehow contribute towards any benefits they get from the government. Provided someone is able to work or at least volunteer for the greater good of their community, they should need to do that if the government is going to help pay for their housing through Section 8.

When it comes to the proposed 11.2% reduction in amount of money allocated to the HUD rent assistance program, that reduction will be offset by more contributions from the tenant. Renters will need to start to pay 30% of their gross income for their housing starting in 2019. The current program calls for 30% of their after tax income being paid. By changing to gross income measurements, the tenant will need to pay more money.

Proposed for HUD 2019 budget

All of this has been proposed for the 2019 budget, which would go into effect October 2018. Congress would need to approve it of course, and October is a long way off. We would fully expect things to change between now and then. Maybe the cutbacks will not be as great; then again maybe the reduction will be even greater than 11.2%. However any section 8 recipient should be prepared for anything at this point.

Realistically, with more federal entitlement programs requiring work, job training, or volunteering from the person who is enrolled, we expect section 8 to go down that path as well. So if you are receiving rent help from HUD, be prepared to work and/or volunteer more, and pay more of your own housing costs.

Anyone who is on any type of entitlement program, whether Housing and Urban Development section 8 or something else, should be prepared for major changes as the years go on. With the national debt exceeding 20 trillion dollars, increasing interest rates (which means more of the government budget goes to paying interest), growing needs of the elderly and social security, etc. some entitlement programs may not be affordable in the future. So section 8 and others may change in 2019 and beyond.

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