HUD Archives: News Releases

HUD No. 98-16
Further Information:For Release
In the Washington, DC area: 202/708-1420Wednesday
Or contact your local HUD officeJanuary 21, 1998


WASHINGTON - Housing Secretary Andrew Cuomo welcomed today's announcement that President Clinton's 1999 Federal Budget proposal will seek $283 million in budget authority to create 50,000 rental assistance vouchers to help more Americans move from welfare to work.

The President's budget will ask Congress to create the vouchers for use by people who are on welfare or have been on welfare in the past year, and need the rental assistance to enable them to get jobs.

"Targeting new vouchers to help families move from welfare to work is a sound investment," Cuomo said. "It rewards men and women who are willing to work hard to climb out of poverty under their own power. "

The new vouchers would help more poor people - many of them unable to get to jobs or able to get to jobs only with great difficulty because they lack cars - to rent housing on the private market and live closer to available jobs, Cuomo said. Currently, about two-thirds of new jobs are being created in the suburbs, but three out of four welfare recipients live in rural areas or central cities.

HUD already provides 1.4 million rental assistance vouchers to low-income Americans under the tenant-based Section 8 program, and about 446,000 go to families with children whose primary source of income is public assistance. However, many people eligible for housing assistance can't get it because HUD does not have the funds. Only one quarter of welfare recipients receive any type of housing assistance, and less than half of these receive rental vouchers that enable them to rent housing on the private market.

Under the President's proposal, the new vouchers would be awarded on a competitive basis to local housing authorities around the country. Housing authorities would have flexibility to decide how to select new voucher recipients from among eligible current and former welfare recipients.

People receiving HUD rental vouchers pay 30 percent of their income for rent, with HUD subsidies picking up the remainder of their rent.


Content Archived: January 20, 2009