SIKESTON - Department of Housing and Urban Development budget cuts will not result in any loss of jobs or service in Sikeston according to Bobby K. Henry, executive director of the Sikeston Housing Authority.
"We will do like any other small business in town and live within our means," Henry said. The Sikeston Housing Authority will be looking for places to cut costs, but he predicted "no tenant services will be curtailed and no staff laid off."
While rent collected on public housing from the tenants can only be 30 percent of their income, it brings in nearly half of the Sikeston Housing Authority's revenue. Federal operating subsidy money from HUD makes up only 38 percent of the housing authority's total revenue.
The HUD budget cuts will mean a reduction in the funding for the public housing program in Sikeston. "We'll get 70 percent for sure now and hopefully 90 percent by June or July," Henry said.
The public housing program offers rent-subsidized units in buildings owned by the housing authority, according to Henry. "The housing authority has 253 public housing units on seven different sites in Sikeston," he said.
Subsidies for the public housing program from HUD go directly to the housing authority, according to Henry.
Section 8 housing allocations through the Sikeston Housing Authority are assigned to tenant families. "We have an allocation for Sikeston and Scott County of 551," Henry said. Of those, about 525 are filled.
"The Section 8 program is funded for 100 percent this year," Henry said, "which will be a federal outlay nationwide of a little over $16 billion."
Henry said he is relatively sure project-based Section 8 housing, in which the subsidy is assigned to the building instead of the tenant and receives HUD funds directly instead of through the Sikeston Housing Authority, will be funded at 100 percent as well. Among these are the Wendell Apartments, Scott Manor Apartments, Sikeston Apartments One, Sikeston Apartments Two, Kathleen Manor and Westridge Senior Apartments.