Forum Thread

Section 8 Housing Should be Expanded and Improved

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    I've always been a big proponent of Section 8 housing because it is a partnership between the government and the people living in the units. The individuals who are in Section 8 housing have to contribute to their housing, which is based off of how much you earn each year. Unfortunately, the number of people who would qualify for Section 8 housing assistance far exceeds the total units available. This problem is not confined to one locality, state, or even region in the country--it is a nationwide problem.

    So what can we do about this? What kind of incentives can we give the people who own the apartment complexes to take more individuals who qualify for Section 8 housing? Should we increase the stipend they receive from the government? Or is there something else we can do to entice more owners to be willing to rent to people who qualify for Section 8?
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    I'm fully prepared for backlash from this statement, but I don't think just expanding section 8 availability is a good idea. At least not without some major changes. I have had several experiences with section 8 housing. I have lived in section 8 housing as a kid. I have also had more than one family member (with a kid) live in more than one apartment-run section 8 housing development over the years too.

    Section 8 housing, at least in the metroplexes and outskirts of the greater DFW Texas area is not a safe and welcome place to live, or even be at. There is a reason why apt complexes do not want to offer more section 8 housing, it scares off the people willing to pay full price. When you lower the threshold for standard of living, your collective tenants do not respect any of the process. Many of times, this life situation is so impermanent feeling to the residents that they have little to zero incentive to upkeep their apartment/house, or their surroundings. They also do not care about keeping the neighborhood safe either.

    Now this is not true across the board, clearly. But man, I have seen it so many times. The problem isn't that we just need more section 8 housing. The deeper problem is the way that the entire transaction of living is handled, across the board. If we collectively want to expand this govt program, then I think we need new standards. In my opinion that means much stricter guidelines. If you are going to qualify for section 8 and get substantially cheaper rent in exchange for your current life situation, you cannot just abuse the situation.

    I know I am speaking in generalities here, and I am sorry if I am offending anyone. Because I am sure, and have seen section 8 residents make the most of the situation in a very respectable way. But even those folks do not want to be there 1 minute longer than they absolutely have to.

    So if we can figure out how to make section 8 housing safer, cleaner, and just raise the general level of respect given by all parties involved, then I would be all for expanding. But as is, at least in my neck of the woods, I wouldn't vote to increase taxes for the program unless they changed some things.
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    I think your statement was well thought out and very logical. You won't get any backlash from me, even if I do wish to see Section 8 expanded.

    This is definitely not a simple problem to solve. Many of these problems have come from decades, and centuries, of terrible racism in both the housing and employment market. Those problems, while not as systemic as they once were, still live on today.

    A paltry minimum wage that basically ensures we have a permanent working poor only exasperates the housing crisis. People who work for $7.25 an hour can not afford to pay for unsubsidized housing. And don't forget the minimum wage for wait staff is much lower than that. A server who works at a top notch steakhouse doesn't have to worry about making $2.13 an hour, but those who work at a local diner aren't nearly as lucky. If we can find a way to pay people a livable wage then I think this housing crisis could be solved overnight.

    Every single city in this country has a terribly long waiting list for Section 8 housing. I can't imagine that most people on those waiting lists just want a handout from the government. I think they want a roof over their heads while they struggle to survive. Do people take advantage of the system? Absolutely. But I just don't think it's even remotely close to the majority.
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    True. And I felt a little bad even after posting that comment, as I vividly remember how much my mom and sister and her kids over the years really needed that Section 8 housing. I am grateful that the program exists in that respect. I don't know what they would have done otherwise, and don't really want to even think about it.

    So I'm torn. I agree that its a systemic issue as well, one that also has to do with unemployment concerns and low wage issues. I don't think that it's simply just a majority of people that use Section 8 gaming the system. I think its human nature sometimes to do the bare minimum of requirements to enter a program. And the housing establishments and the governmental organizations running the program (both at the local level and on high) should do a much better job ensuring that standards are raised. Not standards of income, but standards of upkeep. I feared for my family if I'm being honest, living in those neighborhoods. Something can be done to ensure that they are safer, I gotta think it wouldn't be that hard either.

    I made another post, talking about flat tax. And while the two issues aren't necessarily related, I would argue that absolutely minimum wage in this country should be raised to a level where if you are working full time, you should NOT be under the poverty threshold. If you are fully employed, we should ensure that your income hits a minimum level to allow one to afford a life that needs no government subsidies. In short, I would take all the monies that currently go to social safety net programs through tax breaks and whatnot, and redistribute that allocation into ... I don't know.. stipening companies across the board to allow them to pay their employees a reasonable minimum wage. I'm not 100% sure how it would work, although I think it could.

    If we shift our focus away from subsidies and welfare and instead empower anyone that is willing and able to work the ability to make enough from their jobs alone, so that they simply do not need to be reliant on said programs, I think that would be better for everyone, across the board. Better for the workers and better for the economy.
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    J.K.Logic Wrote: If we shift our focus away from subsidies and welfare and instead empower anyone that is willing and able to work the ability to make enough from their jobs alone, so that they simply do not need to be reliant on said programs, I think that would be better for everyone, across the board. Better for the workers and better for the economy.
    I'm in 100 percent agreement with the goal, but this is a monumental task that we would have to achieve. I firmly believe 99.9 percent of able bodied workers want nothing more than to be able to provide for themselves. The question is how we can make that happen while still ensuring those who can not work (seniors, mentally and physically disabled, etc.) are still provided for. I believe we can make it happen, but it will take a lot of will and a lot of compromise from both parties in Congress.
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    I reside in the East Bay area of California. I have noticed that not many landlords accept Section 8 or ( for that matter) ANY Subsidized Housing.

    And though landlords cite a multitude of reasons...I think what would help improve the percentage of landord participation tremendously, would be if HUD and other Voucher / Certificate issuing entities conducted regular forums in their communities; and offered landlords a percentage of repair costs to units that the landlord could prove was the caused by a Ssubsidized housing participant upon their move out. Housing entities should offer the landlord a percentage of court costs, should the landlord have valid grounds to evict a subsidized housing recipient. Things as simple as these would show a good-neighbor / good faith effort on the part of housing agencies. Things this simple would reinforce the integrity and intent of housing agencies, as well as hold the recipient [not landlord] accountable for what they're receiving from the government or housing entity. It would more importantly show the landlords that housing agencies aren't the 'opportunists' that they are thought to be. The landlord has to feel as though things such as what I have mentioned are in place to help them recover loss and even compensate them for their inconvieniences. In addition, there should be other monitoring guidelines and sanctions designed to aid the landlord, and keep the recipient from just moving on to another property to reek the same havoc. Such regular forums to keep landlords informed would increase landlord participation by at least 71 percent. Please feel free to let me know what you think would be a good landlord recruiting effort, that the housing authorities could offer.

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    hey yall how do I apply for an apartment ..please can anyone tell me and how much is rent if you don't gotta job right now