A few years ago, she was told that a voucher was about to be available, but that failed, and she has spent much of the past 13 years jumping from apartment to apartment. Last spring, Ms Sylve moved in with her daughter across the bay from San Francisco because the neighborhood around her apartment had become too dangerous.
âThey give you hope, and that’s the hardest part,â Ms. Sylve said. “But you keep on hoping year after year after year.”
A survey of 44 major housing authorities across the country conducted by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a left-wing Washington think tank, painted a grim picture of the voucher program. In total, 737,000 people were on waiting lists and 32 of the authorities refuse to take on new requests, with a few exceptions for particularly vulnerable populations.
The situation on the West Coast was particularly dire, with eight times as many people on waiting lists as receiving help in San Diego, where the list topped 108,000. Long waiting lists are also on the rise. a must see in Washington, Philadelphia, Houston, Honolulu, Little Rock, Ark. and New York, which closed its list years ago.
Will Fischer, director of housing policy for the center, said stepping up the voucher program was the single most important move the federal government can make to address the homelessness crisis.
âLook, public housing money is urgently needed – but it would be for existing units, for families who already have a place to live,â he said. “And most of the other funding in the proposal actually serves people a little higher up the income ladder.”
Rep. Ritchie Torres, a Democrat from the Bronx whose district is among the poorest in the country, said housing always seemed to be the third, fourth or fifth priority for many Liberal lawmakers.