Major affordable housing program could face cuts

Posted at 5:24 AM, Aug 23, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-23 17:38:15-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Millions of dollars in cuts could come to a major program that helps low-income families pay their rent.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has informed the cities of Oceanside and Carlsbad, and San Diego County, that it's reducing the money it sends the agencies to distribute Section 8 housing vouchers by 3 percent -- or a total $3 million.

The vouchers generally pick up 70 percent of a low-income family's rent.

Oceanside has already suspended vouchers for eight families who just got them for the first time.

On Wednesday, the Oceanside City Council could take a step to protect its most vulnerable families, such as seniors and those with disabilities. They'd be the last to lose their vouchers if it were to get that far.

But, there's hope.

Marjorie Pierce, Oceanside's director of neighborhood services, said she anticipates that the city will wind up with the full funding, about $413,000.

10News is still waiting to hear from Carlsbad and San Diego County on how they are responding.

Carlsbad is losing about $137,000, and the county $2.5 million.

A HUD spokesman said the reduction could be due to a variety of factors, such as budgeting, and even the price of rent (going up), or an employer doing a mass layoff. The spokesman said it is not because of the current administration.

Eileen Griffis, who lives in an Oceanside mobile home park, said it's getting harder to pay the rent.

"I think you have to have multiple incomes," she said. "It's never just a single person, ever. You never hear of anybody say, 'Oh yeah, I live there by myself.'"