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"Serial Bus is a place for me to dump interesting links that I find."


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Let me tell you about Section 8

Section 8 is a program (to quote wikipedia) "dedicated to sponsoring subsidized housing for low-income families and individuals" which in other words gives people monthly vouchers good for rent. Sometimes it is for the full rent amount; sometimes the resident is still responsible for $100-200. I would love if I had droves of single moms coming in the door, kids in tow, with money the government gave them to help them out since they can't make ends meet on their own.

That isn't how it works

I was talking with the pest control guy once and he off-handedly mentioned that whenever he goes to properties that are designated almost completely for section 8, he'll enter the apartment and find it loaded with big screen TVs, multiple video game systems, and the parking lot will have a bunch of nice cars. From this description, one could assume that the money they're not spending on rent is instead going toward these things. I can pick out some section 8 recipients by their designer handbags and coats before they even mention a voucher.

To be fair, this could be a problem that isn't a section 8 problem, but rather a budgeting problem on the part of the resident, racking up debt when they should be saving. People across the board don't know how to budget.

I have had people that I'm glad get section 8. There's a guy in his 60's (a college grad) who I used to see pushing his cart of cans down the street that now has a place of his very own thanks to section 8 while he gets on his feet, works through rehab, and spends a lot of time at the library and talking politics.

But the weirdest thing about it is I'll have people come in on section 8--people that are living by themselves with no children--with huge vouchers. I had someone come in who was approved for a $1200 voucher (she said, I didn't see the paperwork). With that, she would be able to live in one of the townhomes (1100 sqr feet plus basement), something that Karen and I wouldn't be able to afford ourselves.

I even had one person who came in with her grown daughter to look at some 2 bedroom apartment. Upon walking by the 1 bedroom floor plans that Karen and I live in, the starry-eyed daughter said "When I get my voucher, I'm going to live in one of these". How's that for aspirations?

At one of our other communities, one of our leasing consultants can't afford to live in their smallest one bedroom and thus must live elsewhere. Simultaneously, she rents apartments to people with vouchers that, when asked what kind of apartment they are looking for, answer "the biggest one you have"

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  • Blogger Joel says so:
    May 28, 2009 at 12:25 AM  

    Thanks, Dems!

    Seriously though, I'm fine for helping people under certain difficult conditions, so long as there are provisions for termination unless blah blah and blah are being met. Anything else is just handouts to slackers.. top