Frank Aggazio and Caster D. Binion made a critical point in their piece about the sequester's negative impact on the people who depend on housing authorities for help ("Sequestration Hurts at Home: Allegheny County Is Paying a Price for D.C. Budget Inaction," Aug. 29 Perspectives). Because the harm trickles down to low-income families, disabled veterans and seniors, it "looks" to some like sequestration hasn't been as drastic as predicted.
But many people don't realize that without congressional action, this series of slashes will continue for at least 10 years. This would leave federal agencies with decimated, unsustainable budgets, and other service sources (both government agencies and private organizations) unable to keep up with the growing demand -- all while the homeless encampments under some Pittsburgh bridges remind us that Pennsylvania's safety net is already fraying and worn.
I hope our representatives in Washington take seriously Mr. Aggazio and Mr. Binion's case for restored funding and more sensible government regulation. Here in Pennsylvania, we have a valuable tool in the state Housing Trust Fund that could spur hundreds of millions of dollars in housing-related economic activity -- so long as the General Assembly and governor commit to investing the money needed to jump-start it.
Without these fixes, sequestration will continue quietly eroding the promises we made to help our state's neediest citizens.
ELIZABETH G. HERSH
Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania