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As a consumer, it is important that you know your rights under applicable state and federal law. Here’s a brief overview of some relevant legislation.

Down With Sequestration!

In an attempt to balance the Federal budget, the Budget Control Act of 2011 would impose across-the-board 8.4% cuts in all non-Defense, “discretionary” Federal programs, effective this coming January 2. This series of mandatory cuts is called “sequestration.”

Advocates across America are pointing out to Congress what bad effects sequestration would have on government programs for the needy. Housing advocates, for example, have pointed out that these cuts would result in the loss of: 185,000 vouchers; 92,400 subsidized units (through maintenance failures); subsidies for 145,900 homeless persons; subsidies for 4738 households with AIDS; and fair housing or lead abatement counseling for 35,000 households.

Advocates are urging Congress members to find different ways to balance the budget and avoid sequestration, including ending tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. Our Members of Congress need to know that we oppose sequestration, and that we support a realistic tax program as a way to reduce the Federal deficit.

Go, Section 811!

Section 811, the Federal program that subsidizes housing units for people with disabilities, is entering a new phase. Previously, housing units funded by this program could be found only in small buildings built specifically for tenants with one type of disability (such as mobility impairment, or mental illness). Thanks to the Frank Melville Act of January 2011, units receiving Section 811 funding can now be integrated into all types of housing (either newly-built or existing).

The first funds awarded under these new rules will be given to states, who will then give the funds to participating landlords to subsidize rents. ILRCSF has participated in the State of California’s application for these funds.

We hope that California will be awarded Section 811 funds this year and in the future, so that more Californians with disabilities can live in housing that is truly affordable, accessible and integrated into the larger community.

Hot Topics

Visit the Housing section of our Hot Topics forum for up-to-date information about policy developments and calls to action.