Letter to the Editor “Policies that affect homelessness”

letter to the editorSection 8, a government-funded housing voucher program, continues to experience budget cuts that directly affect tens of thousands of low-income families and their accessibility to affordable housing. While Section 42 is another common form of government-funded housing, many of the eligibility requirements that come with it can be deeply problematic. For example, Section 42 comes with strict income requirements, meaning that if someone is eligible but in the future receives a raise, this may jeopardize their housing, potentially leaving them homeless or hindering their professional and economic development. To add some context, when an organization provides Section 42 housing, they receive tax credits, thereby making it more desirable to create Section 42 housing versus other forms of affordable housing. While there is a greater demand among the population for more affordable housing like Section 8, the funding in the form of tax credits is encouraging a higher supply of sometimes less helpful housing like Section 42. I urge everyone as citizens of our diverse communities to consider these unintended consequences, particularly when evaluating our local representative’s priorities around affordable housing.

—Emerson Ball

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