MAMARONECK, N.Y. – The Town of Mamaroneck is taking the first steps toward participating in a demonstration program with the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development that would allow for higher rent subsidies for Section 8 voucher holders.
“HUD is recognizing that in communities where rent is higher, it’s harder to keep Section 8s in that community,” said Town Administrator Stephen Altieri.
Under the HUD program, more money would be offered to subsidize the rent in Section 8 houses. HUD would also provide $25,000 to upgrade computer software and hardware for the town to keep administrative records and up to $38,175, at $25 per voucher, to cover any additional staffing, education outreach and other related expenses.
Currently, a person can be a resident of a different community, apply for a voucher in Mamaroneck and then use it elsewhere. A resident of Mamaroneck can apply for a voucher, and then move to a different town with it.
“It’s a way to incentivize landlords to participate in the Section 8 voucher program,” Altieri said about the objectives of the program. “We want to encourage landlords to offer affordable housing opportunities and the people already in the program to stay here.”
HUD has asked Mamaroneck to participate in this program because the town is known as a high-performing agency. The town keeps excellent records on program participants and is considered proactive with the current Section 8 program. Also, rent is higher in Mamaroneck than in surrounding areas.
It is hoped that participating in the HUD program will allow the town to provide more housing opportunities. According to a memorandum from Altieri, the goals of the program are similar to those of the Westchester housing settlement with the Department of Justice – to provide more affordable housing in small communities.
The Town of Mamaroneck currently has 647 Section 8 vouchers, and 545 of them are in use. The Town Board unanimously agreed to participate in the demonstration program at its meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 8.