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Amherst postpones meeting on changing value of Section 8 housing subsidy vouchers

AMHERST — A proposal to decrease the value of the federal Section 8 vouchers for about 200 families living in Amherst will now be considered by Amherst Housing Authority commissioners Oct. 3.

Due to an issue related to posting public meeting, the commissioners postponed their session originally scheduled for Monday afternoon, said Denise LeDuc, executive director of the housing authority.

Instead, the commission will meet at 4:30 p.m. Oct. 3 in the fifth-floor lounge of the Ann Whalen Apartments.

Letters are being sent to all program participants who would be affected by the change, alerting them to the new date and giving them an opportunity to review documents presented to the commission that are available on the housing authority’s website.

Under the proposal resulting from a reduction in federal funding to housing authorities, the 200 Amherst families with standard vouchers would see their value reduced from 120 percent to 105 percent of the fair market rate set by the federal Housing and Urban Development.

This means each family would have to pay more of their own money for rents, because the value of the vouchers would decrease from $897 per month to $800 for one-bedroom units and $1,400 per month to $1,247 for three-bedroom units.

There are nearly 200 additional families who are part of the Section 8 program administered by the Amherst Housing Authority, but because they have either project-based or enhanced tenant-protection vouchers, or live outside Amherst, they would not be affected by the change.

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