HUD tweaks rent subsidy formula to save vouchers in Howard County

May 19, 2004|By Larry Carson | Larry Carson,SUN STAFF

Federal housing officials tweaked a contested rent-subsidy funding formula yesterday, easing fears among some Maryland officials who worried they would be forced to take housing vouchers away from more than 500 low-income families in Howard, Baltimore and Montgomery counties.

The change, announced by the Department of Housing and Urban Development late yesterday afternoon in an e-mail to local agencies, would provide enough money to enable Howard County to squeeze through the year without yanking vouchers, officials said. The effect on other agencies could not be immediately determined.

"They have acceded to the pressure in cutting back on families, but they cut administrative fees," Leonard S. Vaughan ,Howard County housing administrator, told the county's Housing Commission during a meeting last night. "It's a major relief in that it won't affect the current fiscal year. Our concern is the future."

Baltimore County officials said last week they feared that up to 309 families could lose their federal rent subsidies under a funding change announced April 22, but retro- active to January.

Howard County worried that 29 families might lose their rent vouchers, and Montgomery officials said 200 families were at risk there.

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