State housing agencies cutting staff, rent aid

Written by The Associated Press | May 2, 2013 10:27 AM

(Harrisburg) -- Pennsylvania's city and county housing authorities are absorbing a 5 percent cut in federal funding, prompting them to shed employees, cut back rent vouchers or put off repairs to housing they own.

They also worry that the automatic federal funding cuts known as the sequester that took effect March 1 will never be replaced.

Daniel Farrell, the Allentown Housing Authority's executive director, says he's leaving about 10 percent of his staff positions unfilled, and about 80 fewer families over 12 months will get rent vouchers.

That means the authority's waiting list of about 10,000 families will grow longer.

Farrell says he also worries the funding cuts are permanent, and he says the uncertainty of the authority's revenues makes it harder to get private developers to get involved in partnerships.

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