HUD reverses plan to reduce
'Fair Market Rents' subsidies
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Low-income seniors and families
[SEPT. 29, 2004]
CHICAGO -- On Tuesday Gov.
Rod Blagojevich praised the announcement by the U.S. Department of
Housing and Urban Development that it will not change the way it
determines fair market rents in Illinois and across the country.
HUD's originally proposed changes would have affected more than
76,000 families and seniors in Illinois who depend on federal rental
assistance. It would have forced many of these renters to either pay
more in rent than they could afford or seek cheaper housing, which
may only be found in areas with high concentrations of poverty,
where jobs and other opportunities are often lacking.
"I applaud HUD for listening to the
outcry in Illinois and across the country and for taking a step back
from its proposed changes to the rent structure," said Gov.
Blagojevich today. "Low-income families do not have the extra income
to make up the shortfalls that would have been created by their
action. I also want to praise the Illinois Housing Roundtable, the
Statewide Housing Action Coalition and the other Illinois
organizations that stepped forward to join me in urging HUD to
reconsider its policy changes."
Last week the governor sent a letter to
HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson, pointing out that Illinois landlords
face rising utility, property tax and insurance costs and that
landlords could not be expected to remain in a program that not only
does not keep pace with these increased costs, but reduces the
rental subsidy available. More than 80 percent of Illinois vouchers
would have been affected with reduced "Fair Market Rents" in fiscal
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On Friday, HUD will publish its new
schedule of fair market rents, which will be based on the 2000
census and local rent surveys, as has been the case in the past.
Under the federal program, known as Section 8, tenants pay 30
percent of their income toward rent and use vouchers to cover the
difference. The voucher is capped, however, at the fair market
level, and any additional shortfall becomes the responsibility of
[News release from the