Cutbacks in Section 8 rent subsidies, new welfare restrictions, and other government austerity measures threaten to erode the income base of low-income housing. At the same time, momentum for tax relief for that housing appears to have dissipated.
When the Giuliani Administration announced its new approach to tax-delinquent housing in October 1995, it stimulated hope in the housing industry that a wider set of policy issues affecting low-income housing would be addressed. In the past year, however, senior staff turnover at key city agencies, including the departments of Housing Preservation and Development, Finance, and Environmental Protection have slowed progress, while the city’s budget problems have not encouraged priority attention to tax relief.
At stake are the prospects for preserving and revitalizing the city’s low-income neighborhoods and the housing that is their backbone. Already during the 1990s are there indications that the financial condition of the private, low-income housing stock is deteriorating. Many housing professionals fear that the deterioration will quicken in coming years, as income support for poor tenants, and indirectly for the housing they live in, is curtailed.
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