NYC housing officials brace for sizable federal cuts

New York City housing agencies that rely upon and apply federally received funds each year toward costs to subsidize housing for the metro area's most financially challenged residents are worried.

In fact, notes a recent New York Times article, what they see when they survey the current and on-the-horizon funding landscape is an ominous "harbinger of leaner times to come."

Here's why: City agencies that help contain dwelling costs for select tenants -- namely the city's Department of Housing Preservation and Development and the City Housing Authority, respectively -- were recently informed that the inflow of upcoming federal funds to support housing subsidies will result in a material shortfall to support relevant programs.

Although the unwelcome news comes from the Trump administration, the new presidential regime did not author the changes. Rather, an existing government resolution mandates flat funding levels in the future. For the above-cited city agencies, notes the Times, that results in "a de facto decline because of rising costs."

The obvious question: How much could now be out the window for the HPD and Housing Authority?

One estimate posits that $58 million-plus might now be unavailable for use for the remainder of 2017.

That is of course a huge number, and one that is openly lamented by Mayor Bill de Blasio. The mayor says that city reserves "could be eaten up very, very quickly if the magnitude of budget cuts that's possible here was to play out."

The CFO for the Housing Authority says she has to anticipate that severe underfunding will materialize.

And, adds Karen Caldwell, "the more troubling issue is waiting for the second shoe to fall."

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