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Bush adminsitration wants to cut Section 8 program by 30 percent by 2009.


Penninsula Daily News, June 9, 2004

PORT ANGELES -- They are poverty-level women with children who have lived in tents, parking lots, tiny travel trailers and shacks without plumbing or electricity.

Tina Paschich, Donna Trump and Vicki Guthrie -- believing those days were gone -- once again face the imminent, grim prospect of homelessness.
They are three of 32 low-income families or individuals scheduled to lose their Clallam County Housing Authority Section 8 subsidies. The housing authority's Section 8 program is one of thousands around Washington and the U.S. that are the target of Bush administration cuts.

Paschich, a 37-year-old mother of four children, lived in a tent from park to park around the county -- even resorting to a short stint in a van at Wal-Mart parking lot before she and her family found a St. Vincent de Paul-paid motel. They ended up at Serenity House homeless shelter, then were accepted for a subsidized apartment at Evergreen Family Village, the county's transitional housing for homeless families.

``That was a long time for me to be homeless,'' Paschich said, recalling about two years of living without a roof overhead.

``So it is pretty scary that I could be out on the streets again. I could be living in tent again . . . I have nightmares about it.''

The Bush administration wants to cut $1.6 billion from the nation's Section 8 program in 2005, which will increase to $4.6 billion, or 30 percent of the program, by 2009.

Section 8 is the government's main housing program for the poor. The program provides rent subsidies for 2 million of the country's most vulnerable families and encourages private developers to build affordable housing.
Section 8 subsidies go primarily to families that live at or below the poverty level, in households that include children, disabled people or seniors. Families pay 30 percent of their income toward rent and Section 8 vouchers pay the rest.