Housing Security: A Section 8 Memoir

Housing Security: A Section 8 Memoir

by Carol Lamberg
Housing Security: A Section 8 Memoir

Housing Security: A Section 8 Memoir

by Carol Lamberg


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I believe that housing is a human right. In the United States, a very wealthy country, there is no excuse for homelessness. Section 8 of the housing act that established public housing was revised in 1974 to create an excellent new program. The new Section 8 program provided federal funds to help households afford the rent in existing housing. The program also gave developers assistance to create new or renovated affordable housing. I was an advocate for the program when it was enacted in 1974, and I proposed a successful amendment allowing large families to pay only 15 percent of income for rent.

The book includes a brief history of earlier housing programs. Then I discuss President Nixon's housing moratorium and the study that led to Section 8. I have a chapter about Carla A. Hills, President Ford's housing Secretary, who was very effective and productive.

A case study shows how Section 8 helped performing artists, leading to the revival of Times Square in Manhattan. In other chapters, I analyze costs and the budget and discuss President Reagan's unfortunate programmatic changes. I include brief interviews with seven Section 8 tenants from New York, Washington State, and Florida. The final chapter is a summary of my recommendations for expanding and improving the current program.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781643145808
Publisher: Authors Press
Publication date: 07/20/2021
Pages: 156
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.36(d)

About the Author

Carol Lamberg was Executive Director of the Settlement Housing Fund from 1983 until she retired in February, 2014. She had worked on the staff of Settlement Housing since its inception in 1969. Before that, she was Vice President of Roger Schafer Associates, housing consultants, and in that capacity worked for the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church, Knickerbocker Hospital and Settlement Housing Fund, among others. Settlement Housing Fund had produced over 8,900 apartments in 58 developments, retaining ownership through partnerships or affiliates, of over 25 buildings with nearly 2,000 apartments in Brooklyn, the Bronx, Harlem, Washington Heights and lower Manhattan. Most of the developments that Settlement Housing now owns are mixed-income buildings, occupied by families whose incomes range from public assistance levels to about $85,000. The developments often include community amenities and programs. Ms. Lamberg was a consultant for 12 developments for senior citizens, owned by settlement houses and other nonprofi t organizations. Ms. Lamberg was also Staff Director and co-founder of the New York Housing Conference before becoming Co-Chair from 2008 until 2016. She is now the only Life Trustee. In that capacity, she had drafted amendments to the Housing Act of 1937, the National Housing Act, and the New York State Private Housing Finance Law. She has written policy studies and articles for housing and architectural journals, op-ed articles, and has testified before legislative bodies, commissions, and government agencies. She was Regional Vice President of the National Housing Conference. She is on the boards of the New Settlement Apartments, RISE, Rockaway, the Two Bridges Neighborhood Council, and the Citizens Housing and Planning Council. She is a graduate of Radcliff e College and was a Loeb Fellow at Harvard University. She has written a book," Neighborhood Success Stories," describing the Two Bridges urban renewal area on the Lower East Side of Manhattan and the largest development under the late Mayor Koch's housing program. The development, located in the Bronx, is owned by an affiliate of Settlement Housing Fund. The book was published by Fordham University Press in May 2018. The Borough Presidents of Manhattan and the Bronx have written short forwards. She is working on a second book about the history and future of Section 8.Ms. Lamberg received the Lifetime Achievement award from the New York Housing Conference in 2013. She has also won awards from the National Housing Conference, Citizens Housing and Planning Council, LISC, Flemister House, Hamilton Madison House, and the American Institute of Architects of New York.Carol Lamberg lives in Manhattan with her partner, Prof. Donald Pfaff. Her grown children, Andrew and Donna Bernstein, and stepchildren, Lisa and Tom Barbash live in Paris, San Diego, Cambridge, and San Francisco respectively.
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