SECTION 8 BLOCKS

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FYI: The U.S. House kicked off debate over the White House’s proposal to block grant Section 8 funding last week, as HUD Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing Michael Liu testified before Rep. Bob Ney’s subcommittee dealing with housing issues. Ney introduced the administration’s bill late last month. Liu told Congress that block grants would help make the program more efficient, but according to a National Low Income Housing Coalition account, several members from both parties were skeptical of the idea. Members also feared that states will be tempted to use their funds on things other than Section 8 vouchers, given the widespread budget crises, and Rep. Maxine Waters vowed to fight the bill, characterizing it as part of a plan to dismantle HUD. [5/27/03]