City rescinds some housing vouchers

The Houston Housing Authority, which administers housing vouchers, said a federal funding shortfall will result in rescinding some vouchers and keep the organization from issuing vouchers for the rest of the year.

HHA is planning to rescind vouchers from about 900 Houston area families, individuals whose selected units have not yet passed the required safety inspection. Thousands of current voucher recipients who depend on affordable quality housing will not have their vouchers rescinded, HHA said.

HHA says it is one of many other housing authorities nationwide rescinding vouchers in response to a funding shortfall, but it is the first time this kind of situation has occurred in Houston.

“We’re committed to providing our clients with the additional needed resources and information in order to prepare for the impact these changes will bring,” HHA President and CEO Tory Gunsolley said. “We aim to serve as many people as we can and we’re are developing short and long-term solutions that will allow us to continue to do that.”

“It’s very uncertain budgetary moment for us,” added Mark Thiele, vice president of HHA’s housing voucher program. “It’s as challenging to predict as it has been in my entire professional career.”

Thiele said Congress is currently considering a “skinny” budget, which includes considerable cuts to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the primary source of HHA’s budget.

“Even fully funded, we can only help a fraction of those families, so we are always trying to help as many as we can,” he says.

HHA has set up a dedicated phone line at (713) 260-0618 and email at [email protected] for all questions and concerns regarding rescinded vouchers.