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Thousands of apartments at nearly two dozen public housing complexes will be rented out to tenants with federal Section 8 vouchers under a new plan by the New York City Housing Authority that has drawn criticism for reducing the city’s already dwindling supply of privately owned subsidized housing. The Housing Authority’s plan will remove 8,400 units at 21 of its complexes from the public housing inventory and make them available to Section 8 voucher holders. The move is intended to help the agency stem its financial crisis by pumping money from the federally financed vouchers into 21 cash-poor developments. Those 21 developments were built by the city and state but receive no continuing financial assistance from either, one of the reasons why the Housing Authority is facing a $177 million shortfall in its operating budget in fiscal year 2009. But critics of the plan, including elected officials and advocates for low-income housing, said the agency was using Section 8 vouchers in a way they were never intended: to subsidize public housing.