Greensboro Housing Authority maintenance budget cut 25%

From Fox8:

The Greensboro Housing Authority has had its maintenance budget cut for the first time in its history.

Congressional budget cuts have taken $1 million out of the budget, which is 25 percent of the entire maintenance budget, said Don House, chief operating officer for the Greensboro Housing Authority.

The cuts come despite a backlog of repairs that will cost $16 million to fix, House said.

Rent will not increase because that is based on renters’ income and not the authority’s budget, House said.

That puts the authority in the tough position of choosing which projects to fund and which ones to put on hold.

>> Continue reading “Public Housing Maintenance Budget Cut 25 Percent in Greensboro(with video)

A Circle of Protection: Christian leaders on protecting programs for the poor

A Circle of Protection: A statement on why we need to protect programs for the poor, signed by more than 50 Christian leaders — Evangelical, Roman Catholic, mainline Protestants, African-American, and Latino:

In the face of historic deficits, the nation faces unavoidable choices about how to balance needs and resources and allocate burdens and sacrifices. These choices are economic, political — and moral.

As Christians, we believe the moral measure of the debate is how the most poor and vulnerable people fare. We look at every budget proposal from the bottom up—how it treats those Jesus called “the least of these” (Matthew 25:45). They do not have powerful lobbies, but they have the most compelling claim on our consciences and common resources. The Christian community has an obligation to help them be heard, to join with others to insist that programs that serve the most vulnerable in our nation and around the world are protected. We know from our experience serving hungry and homeless people that these programs meet basic human needs and protect the lives and dignity of the most vulnerable. We believe that God is calling us to pray, fast, give alms, and to speak out for justice.

As Christian leaders, we are committed to fiscal responsibility and shared sacrifice. We are also committed to resist budget cuts that undermine the lives, dignity, and rights of poor and vulnerable people. Therefore, we join with others to form a Circle of Protection around programs that meet the essential needs of hungry and poor people at home and abroad.

Key Principles:

  1. The nation needs to substantially reduce future deficits, but not at the expense of hungry and poor people.
  2. Funding focused on reducing poverty should not be cut. It should be made as effective as possible, but not cut.
  3. We urge our leaders to protect and improve poverty-focused development and humanitarian assistance to promote a better, safer world.
  4. National leaders must review and consider tax revenues, military spending, and entitlements in the search for ways to share sacrifice and cut deficits.
  5. A fundamental task is to create jobs and spur economic growth. Decent jobs at decent wages are the best path out of poverty, and restoring growth is a powerful way to reduce deficits.
  6. The budget debate has a central moral dimension. Christians are asking how we protect “the least of these.” “What would Jesus cut?” “How do we share sacrifice?”
  7. As believers, we turn to God with prayer and fasting, to ask for guidance as our nation makes decisions about our priorities as a people.
  8. God continues to shower our nation and the world with blessings. As Christians, we are rooted in the love of God in Jesus Christ. Our task is to share these blessings with love and justice and with a special priority for those who are poor.

» Continue reading A Circle of Protection: A Statement on Why We Need to Protect Programs for the Poor

Greensboro-High Point: Housing out of reach?

From the National Low Income Housing Coalition, “Out of Reach 2010”:

In Greensboro-High Point HMFA [HUD Metro FMR Area], the Fair Market Rent (FMR) for a two-bedroom apartment is $703. In order to afford this level of rent and utilities, without paying more than 30% of income on housing, a household must earn $2,343 monthly or $28,120 annually. Assuming a 40-hour work week, 52 weeks per year, this level of income translates into a Housing Wage of $13.52.

In Greensboro-High Point HMFA, a minimum wage worker earns an hourly wage of $7.25. In order to afford the FMR for a two-bedroom apartment, a minimum wage earner must work 75 hours per week, 52 weeks per year. Or, a household must include 1.9 minimum wage earner(s) working 40 hours per week year-round in order to make the two bedroom FMR affordable.

In Greensboro-High Point HMFA, the estimated mean (average) wage for a renter is $12.29 an hour. In order to afford the FMR for a two-bedroom apartment at this wage, a renter must work 44 hours per week, 52 weeks per year. Or, working 40 hours per week year-round, a household must include 1.1 worker(s) earning the mean renter wage in order to make the two-bedroom FMR affordable.

Monthly Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments for an individual are $674 in Greensboro-High Point HMFA. If SSI represents an individual’s sole source of income, $202 in monthly rent is affordable, while the FMR for a one-bedroom is $631.

A unit is considered affordable if it costs no more than 30% of the renter’s income.

» keep reading: Greensboro-High Point HMFA on NLIHC