H.P.D. backs off Section 8 downsizing

Last Friday, the Department of Housing Preservation and Development announced that tenants under the federal Section 8 voucher program who live alone will no longer be forced to downsize to a studio apartment if they currently live in a one-bedroom unit. H.P.D. has estimated this decision will protect roughly 3,325 Section 8 tenants from downsizing.

In response, City Councilmembers Margaret Chin, Ritchie Torres and Jumaane Williams — who respectively chair the Council’s Committee on Aging, Committee on Public Housing and Committee on Housing and Buildings — released the following statement:

“This announcement by H.P.D. is a step in the right direction that will protect thousands of Section 8 tenants — particularly some of our city’s most vulnerable senior and working-class citizens — from the unfair and untenable practice of downsizing. Like many of our elected colleagues across the city, our highest priority is to ensure that we do everything we can to end the crisis of affordability in housing. But the bottom line is that we need the federal government to increase funding to our city’s housing agencies, who have the responsibility for finding truly income-targeted housing for millions of New Yorkers in the nation’s most populous, highest-density city. Thank you to H.P.D. Commissioner Vicki Bean for listening to our concerns and implementing this encouraging reform, which further shows that H.P.D. is taking a more balanced and humane approach in dealing with this issue.”

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