By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The head of the Philadelphia Housing Authority is taking what he calls “drastic measures” to close a $20 million budget gap.

He’s laying off 126 workers, nearly 15 percent of the staff.

Over the last decade, Congress has delivered about 86 percent of what was promised to PHA.

Executive Director Kelvin Jeremiah says the day of reckoning arrived.

“It’s a sad day. It’s a difficult, difficult day, especially for the families and individuals whose jobs will be eliminated today and in the next 30 days…”

Jeremiah says PHA will offer outplacement services. He also assures it will continue to increase the number of affordable units. He says it’s already serving 3800 more families than three years ago, and has 2400 units in development, and the cuts are essential to keeping that on track.

“I’d hoped this day would never come, frankly, but with the incredible losses and disinvestment we’ve seen in affordable housing, I think it’s a move that ensures that PHA will be fiscally stable for years to come.”

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