Budget Cuts Impact Local Voucher Program
KREX News Room
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. Due to continued budget cuts at the federal level, the Grand Junction Housing Authority is closing the waiting list for a program that helps community members pay rent.
Effective Dec. 1, 2013, residents can no longer join the Housing Choice Voucher waiting list. The program provides a rent subsidy for families who can't afford to pay market rent, which ultimately helps deconcentrate poverty.
Officials say 2,000 people are already on the waiting list and it doesn't make sense to add more with no relief in sight.
Lori Rosendahl, chief operating officer of the Grand Junction Housing Authority, said, "It's a tough pill for any community to swallow, but we're not the only community. Every community across the nation that has a voucher program is feeling the same pain. An 8 percent cut is a large cut, and if we experience another 5 percent cut, frankly, I don't know where that's going to come from."
Sequester cuts have drastically impacted the administrative side to the voucher program as well, resulting in reduced office hours, staff lay-off and reductions in client services.