Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Our building isn't under HUD rules

Claiming the "sequester" made them do it,  the federal government's Housing and Urban
Development agency issued rules in July 2013 ordering some tenants to move to smaller apartments.  This applies to tenants in the Housing Choice Voucher Program, administered through the City's Department of Housing Preservation and Development.  It does not apply to tenants in Central Park Gardens. 

Since our building never received a HUD mortgage and we did not get "enhanced vouchers" when we left Mitchell-Lama, this does not apply to our building.   (It's possible that a few tenants receiving Section 8 in this building may be subject to those rules.)

Rent stabilized tenants in our building may stay in their apartments even if their household has shrunk.  

The reason for the new HUD rules (that don't apply to our building)  :  our tax dollar subsidize HUD housing, so tenants in that housing should live in the smallest possible - and therefore cheapest - apartments.  

The problems with those new HUD rules: 
  • Many tenants have lived in their homes for years and moving is a serious trial for them - as well as expensive.
  • Many tenants have lived by the previous rules and already "downsized" when their families got smaller.  They feel it's unfair to be required to move yet again just because the rules changed. 
  • In some HUD developments, there are no smaller apartments available, and in some cases tenants may be pressured to move to other developments far from their neighborhoods.
  • The downsizing rules mean that where a parent and adult child of a different gender live in the same apartment, there is only 1 bedroom, and seniors living alone are entitled to only a studio.  
So there is now a coalition of tenants in former Mitchell-Lamas that were HUD-supervised and many of whose tenants get "enhanced" (also called "sticky") Section 8 vouchers to help pay their rents.  If you're interested in learning more, please contact Sue