Federal budget cuts are influencing changes to subsidized housing in Raleigh.
This week, the City Council approved a Raleigh Housing Authority plan that would change the units in the Capitol Park projects away from the public housing model. Housing Authority Director Steve Beam says he's now waiting for the US Department of Housing and Urban Development to weigh in:
If it is approved... And it's a lengthy approval process ... If it's approved by HUD, we would simply convert the 60 units here at capital park from public housing to affordable market rate, a different type of affordable housing.”
Under the affordable market rate model current low-income residents would be given vouchers and have the option to stay at comparable rental rates. But as they moved out, Beam says a quarter of the units could be rented to tenants who are not receiving public assistance.
Beam says this would help cover management costs.
Opponents argue that this further limits options for low-income families, when Raleigh already has a lengthy waiting list for housing assistance. Raleigh’s District C Councilman Eugene Weeks voted against Beam’s plan at the City Council meeting:
Are we looking at every opportunity to get more federal money, state money, things, so we can accommodate these low income citizens that need a place to stay?
Beam says the federal government has cut its funding to the housing authority by 20 percent, and he says more cuts are likely.