King Co. suspends housing vouchers as sequester takes effect

SEATTLE — The automatic federal budget cuts that kicked in Friday prompted the King County Housing Authority to suspend the distribution of some housing assistance vouchers.

The agency announced Thursday that it will stop re-issuing rental assistance vouchers that are turned in by people who no longer need them. Normally, those vouchers would then go to people on a waiting list.

About 50 vouchers are re-issued to new people in their Section 8 House Choice program every month, said spokeswoman Rhonda Rosenberg.

Friday saw no progress in the budget standoff between President Barack Obama and Republican congressional leaders. They met for less than an hour.

The cuts will begin carving $85 billion of government spending by day’s end.

Obama and congressional Republicans are deeply at odds over how to tackle the country’s $16.6 trillion debt, and they have been battling over that issue since the opposition party regained a majority in the House of Representatives more than two years ago.

The budget reductions were structured to be so unattractive that both sides would be forced to find a better deal. They haven’t.

Back in King County, if the current budget situation holds for a year, it will cost the Housing Authority about $6.3 million, Rosenberg said.

This is “a pre-emptive action that we’re taking at this point because we don’t want to run out of subsidies and run out of available funds,” Rosenberg said. “We want to ensure people who are in the program their assistance is not disrupted.”

Rosenberg said the affected wait list has 2,500 people. She said that people who already receive vouchers are not in imminent jeopardy of losing rental help.

“The longer this goes on, the more families will fall through the safety net,” said Stephen Norman, executive director of the King County Housing Authority, in a statement.

More in Local News

Live in Edmonds? Hate speeders?

Edmonds has $35,000 to address local residents’ concerns about speeding in their… Continue reading

Herald photos of the week

A weekly collection of The Herald’s top images by staff photographers and… Continue reading

Police looking for Lynnwood bank robber

The robber did not flash a weapon to the teller at a U.S. Bank.

Employee threats caused lockdown at Arlington elementary

Arlington Police said all students and staff were.

Sirens! Flashing lights! — Move over!

We are a confident bunch on what to do when we hear… Continue reading

Marysville quits fire-department merger talks

Mayor Jon Nehring notified Arlington of the decision in a letter dated Jan. 10.

Everett marchers: ‘There’s too much to protest’ for one sign

About 150 people joined the “March to Impeach” from the waterfront to a county courthouse rally.

Front Porch

EVENTS Support for Alzheimer’s caregivers A Sno-Isle Libraries “Issues That Matter” forum… Continue reading

Legislation to limit opioid prescriptions under debate

Inslee also has requested a bill that prioritizes medication-assisted treatment for addiction.

Most Read