As a prospective tenant, B.R. Williams learned early on she needed a script to woo potential landlords: Mention her stellar rental history. Emphasize that Section 8 housing vouchers are “pro-landlord,” with most of the rent direct deposited each month. Always utter the magic words, “This is a no-fail system.”
Sometimes the pitch worked. But even then, Williams often would show up to look at an apartment, only to be told that it was no longer available.
“I guess they couldn’t tell I was black over the phone,” the 62-year-old said. In her nearly 30 years in the housing voucher program, she’s only had one white landlord.
Housing Choice Vouchers, better known as Section 8 vouchers, are supposed to be a ticket out of poverty for the more than 2 million families that use them each year. The vouchers allow low-income renters, such as Williams, to find decent housing in what housing officials call safe, “high-opportunity” neighborhoods they normally wouldn’t be able to afford.
At least, that’s the intent. Instead, tenants like Williams often find themselves trapped by limited options.
In mid-August, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced it will hold a series of landlord forums in selected cities to hear from property owners about how to make the voucher program more attractive to them. The agency expects to make changes to the program based on what it hears.
Williams’ experience, familiar to many Section 8 recipients, shows how tough it will be to overcome landlords’ resistance.
Landlords routinely discriminate against renters with housing vouchers, according to an Urban Institute report published this August — especially landlords in higher-rent areas with high-quality schools, transportation and jobs.
Though some landlords are attracted by the prospect of rent payments backed up by the federal government, a Johns Hopkins University study released in May found that many are put off by the bureaucracy of the Section 8 program. (HUD commissioned both studies.)
“It’s really hard to find a unit to rent with a housing voucher,” said Martha Galvez, a senior research associate at the Urban Institute and a co-author of its study. “If a family [using housing vouchers] wants to get into a particular neighborhood because it has a good school, they might have to work really hard to do it — and it might not work out for them.”
The stakes are high: Research points to a close connection between the neighborhood children grow up in and their life prospects.
A Harvard University study found that poor children who move to high-opportunity neighborhoods before age 13 are more likely to attend college, earn higher incomes and reside in better neighborhoods as adults. They also are less likely to become single parents.
Income limits to participate in the program vary widely from county to county, and different housing authorities can set their own income limits as well. But families have to be very poor to qualify — and in most cases, extremely poor.
For example, in Dallas County, Texas, the average household income for a voucher holder in 2017 was $14,116.
Families who receive Section 8 vouchers are obligated to pay 30 percent of their income on rent. The federal government covers the difference up to a certain amount, which is based on the Fair Market Rent (FMR) for the area. Voucher holders can choose to live in units with higher rents, but they are responsible for paying any amount above HUD’s payment standard.
Often, the vouchers aren’t enough to move a family out of high-poverty, racially segregated neighborhoods. Dallas, thanks to a 1990 court desegregation order, is required to provide some low-income families with bigger vouchers, so that they can relocate to high-opportunity communities.
Those housing vouchers enabled Williams to raise her seven kids in suburban neighborhoods in good school districts around the Dallas metro area. She could have a house with a yard, and dogs, and her kids could ride their bikes and have sleepovers.
“It proved to be super beneficial,” said Williams, a single mother. “We could have somewhat of a normal lifestyle.”
Still, she said, the program has its limits.
Whenever Williams had to move, such as the time her landlord died and his family was in a rush to sell the property, she found herself back on the housing market, scrambling to find a decent place for her family to live. She’s had to move eight to 10 times.
“I would be so distressed,” said Williams, who has worked as a substitute teacher and a home health aide. “It was like a full-time job, morning to night, morning to night. You wouldn’t believe how much gas I burned up.”
Urban Institute researchers surveyed rental ads in Fort Worth, Texas; Los Angeles; Newark, New Jersey; Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., to determine how hard it was for voucher holders to find apartments. On average, the researchers had to scour through 39 ads before they found one that met HUD’s requirements for cost and size.
And then, things got even tougher: Most of the landlords whom researchers called said they didn’t take vouchers. Some of those who agreed to show their unit to a voucher holder stood the renter up.
Landlords in Fort Worth, Los Angeles and Philadelphia turned down voucher holders at much higher rates: 78, 76 and 67 percent, respectively. In Washington, D.C., and Newark, New Jersey, which have local laws protecting voucher holders from housing discrimination, denial rates were much lower at 15 and 31 percent, respectively.
The lower rejection rates suggest that housing laws can help make it easier for voucher holders to find a place to live, Galvez said.
Twelve states and numerous cities have laws that make it illegal for landlords to deny housing because a tenant has a housing voucher or is on public assistance, according to the Poverty and Race Research Action Council, a civil rights and policy organization based in Washington, D.C.
In March, Washington became the latest state to pass a “source of income” law. It goes into effect in late September.
But such laws aren’t what’s needed to win over more landlords, said Greg Brown, senior vice president of government affairs for the National Apartment Association, an industry group based out of Alexandria, Virginia.
“Rather than a sweeping mandate that you have to accept Section 8 vouchers, why not look at where the program has struggled and make it extremely easy to use?” Brown asked. “There’s no question the program is incredibly important and incredibly valuable in insuring that families have access to affordable housing. But it’s also incredibly challenging [for landlords].”
Streamlining paperwork and inspections, Brown said, and creating a landlord mitigation fund to cover damages would go a long way to woo more landlords.
Negative stereotypes about Section 8 voucher holders also are a barrier.
For the Johns Hopkins study, researchers surveyed landlords in Baltimore, Cleveland and Dallas. They found that two-thirds of landlords who had rented to Section 8 tenants had what they described as a negative experience, and had vowed never to rent to voucher holders again.
But the researchers found it hard to disentangle actual incidents from personal prejudices.
“They don’t run their lives like us. They weren’t brought up like us,” one landlord told them. “I was raised in a decent background; most of them aren’t.”
Some landlords said they didn’t like jumping through bureaucratic hoops, from paperwork to routine housing inspections, to check for health and safety issues, such as lead paint and faulty electricity.
Others mistakenly believed that public housing authorities were bound to take their side in disputes over damages — and were disappointed when they didn’t — said Philip Garboden, a professor of affordable housing at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, and one of the study’s co-authors.
“A landlord is running a business,” said Alexandra Alvarado, marketing director for the American Apartment Owners Association, a membership organization of professional property managers based out of Calabasas, California. “You’re trying to reduce your risk. If a group is viewed as risky, they’re not going to want to take that risk.”
Still, Alvarado said, there’s no evidence that voucher holders damage property more frequently than other renters. Assuming a prospective tenant has a clean rental history and solid credit, she said, her organization encourages landlords to “not discriminate on the source” of the rent.
Hope in ZIP Codes
The goal of the Section 8 program is to give low-income families the opportunity to escape high-poverty neighborhoods. Nevertheless, most voucher recipients fail to do so, in large part because the HUD vouchers aren’t enough to cover the rents in higher-income neighborhoods.
Historically, HUD determined the value of the vouchers based on the Fair Market Rent across an entire metropolitan area. But several years ago, the agency began experimenting with tying voucher amounts to the rents in each ZIP code.
In 2016, the Obama administration issued new regulations requiring 24 metro areas to use the new formula. (The Dallas metro area also must participate because of a legal settlement.) The Trump administration tried to suspend the rule last year, but a federal judge reinstated it.
Housing advocates hope the change will give voucher holders more options.
A report released earlier this year by the Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy at New York University predicted that the number of housing units available to Section 8 recipients in the 24 metro areas would increase by nearly 9 percent, in addition to providing more housing options for poor families outside of high-poverty, low-rent areas.
“This means safer neighborhoods with low poverty and better schools,” said Katherine O’Regan, one of the report’s co-authors. “That’s what you’re looking for. It changes the economic mobility and the adult outcomes for low-income kids.”
–Teresa Wiltz, Stateline
Brandon Cross says
Only my thought…
EVERYONE should have a home.
I understand those already leaving in such a section would have a problem,.
Yet, the reasoning of objectors is we need this!!! Yet… “not in my Back Yard”
Ms. Williams thank you for telling your story. And, the efforts you made to find a home for yourself. This is America and we should help those that need assistance.
It breaks my heart that the current people in Washington running our government don’t feel the same. They want to make the rich, richer, they don’t care about the less fortunate.
Please remember, the only way we can change that is to go out and vote.
Henry Weedemout says
30 years and this lady has not been able to get off it? Clearly it is not working then. If you are on this subsidy for 30 years it’s not considered help, it’s a hand out, a freebie at the tax payers expense.
Mary Fusco says
Statistically, those who use Section 8 destroy. Why is that you see rentals that specifically say “no section 8”? Yes, the rent is partially guaranteed by the government but is it worth it when a house has to be gutted before it can be rented again. Sadly, these destructive people ruin opportunities for those who are not. Bottom line is that anytime a home or apartment is rented out, it is a crapshoot. The bad seeds just continue to make it difficult for decent people to get a break.
Mikey Eyes says
Ok let’s try to improve the system! This is my proposal I will purchase the houses next door to the housing authority judge and commissioner! And rent to section 8 tenants. Chances are I won’t be awarded the vouchers!
Valerie Mason says
My daughter received a housing choice voucher (section 8) in Arizona this year I along with case managers for housing tried for 3 soild months to find her a place such a joke no one in the areas she was allowed to live in has any openings no one we got her voucher extension and are still having no luck finding a place for her to live the housing people claim it’s a tight market out here. What are we supposed to do?
Duke Ganote says
Charming. The real issue is that zoning laws majestically prohibit rich and poor from living in affordable ‘tiny houses’, manufactured homes, and the like — for fear of crippling property values. Thus the middle and upper class are slumlords, and Section 8 vouchers don’t help home ownership, just perpetuate slums, projects, and apartments.
I am a resident of Flagler County since 1988. My primary residence is in the City of Bunnell and we own three other homes here also. Over the years 2 of our rentals during the years have been Section 8 occupied. We had much success with the tenants. Our longest term success has been a home we own in Palm Coast. We find that the best option of renting to those with Section 8 is that there are lest to fall behind in their rent and are less to pack up and leave in the middle of the night. The administrators of Section 8 hold the landlord and tenants to high standards and accountability. I know of someone who rents in Canopy Walk Palm Coast that is a recipient of Section 8 and has safe and lovely home.
Regretfully, I rented several houses in Atlanta to section 8 participant. Every tenant either trashes the house entirely before moving out, move out have always been because they lost their voucher status and I had to evict every one of them to get them out. Needless to say, I no longer accept vouchers. All my section 8 tenants moved in their boyfriends and a few even rented out spare rooms. It hard to prove that other are living there that shouldn’t be and what’s the point anyhow, the house has already been trashed so you might as well collect as much rent as possible since you’re going to have to totally redo the place. The annual inspection is a joke and so are the inspectors, they don’t care. They simply make the landlord fix everything that is out of compliance and overlook what in most tenant’s responsibilities. BTW, the section 8 contact trumps your lease as far as what is the tenant’s requirements. Section 8 may keep some off the streets, but they don’t help them improve their status in life, it’s just another dependency program. I learned the hard way why not to accept section 8 vouchers.
Percy's mother says
Feel free to take some of these Section 8 people into your own home. No one is stopping you from giving them a home.
No one is stopping you from inviting them to Thanksgiving dinner either.
How about it?
James Desantios says
Under DeSantis, these blights on our community will have to move to Miami…Gooo Republicans!
Finding a good job is hard trying to keep it even harder
Born and Raised Here says
A lot goes beyond just providing housing, You need to educate, teach them a trade, show them how to budget , and save money. Once they become more productive in society, then provide housing. You just can’t keep assisting the poor with funds, if they do not know how to manage it.
Get a JOB
Maria Coia says
As I read the statement by Williams, a single mother of seven, my blood boiled! She said the vouchers were beneficial because the could have somewhat of a normal lifestyle……WHAT A JOKE!! When is being a single mother of seven “Normal” Where are the fathers? How do they contribute? When did she think it was OK to keep having babies, after the 3rd, 4th, fifth, sixth, seventh????? Sew up that baby factory, taxpayers give you those vouchers, the “government” has no money unless it comes from the backs of taxpayers!
Ms. William was a participant for 30 years (and counting?) so the “get em up ‘n out” mentality didn’t happen for her (yet?). So it would have been nice if the story included mention of all or any of her 7 children successes as college graduates, full-time job holders, etc. Something to support vouchers in more than just metro areas actually work to reduce dependancy.
D Hall says
I am disabled and have been in Sec 8 voucher and in my unit for 10yrs now. My building has other Sec 8 voucher holders living here. I agree many do not care for their units. I think there should be more grateful ppl that they are getting help w their rents allowing them to live where they might not be able to afford such neighborhoods. I think the inspections should be more intense and if tenant is not taking care of their units as they should then the loose their voucher. Or training in how the unit should be cared for so we don’t have this negative reaction from landlords of ppl w vouchers.
PTC Trader says
From the 3rd paragraph: “In her nearly 30 years in the housing voucher program, ”
It would appear from the article that Ms. Williams has “some” education and skills. So I just don’t get the 30 years…
They know when and how to tear up to get an intitlements and live off the tax payers. There are PLENTY of jobs out there if they get off their dead asses and go apply. The people on section 8 probably never worked a day in their life. They’re professional leeches,
It takes very little to get a voucher.I have seen the system scammed many times when I was a municipal housing liaison.
These people should get jobs
I agree with both sides of the comments here. I’m for my tax dollars helping those out who NEED it as a step up. But subsidizing anyone 30 years while having seven children goes way beyond what I think a program should be designed for. I’m sure she was also getting other big gubmint assistance, ie food stamps, medicaid etc during this time as well. There should be consequences for bad decisions.
Single mother of seven? Really? And the hard working American Taxpayer’s are responsible? SMH….
get a job says
my daughter because of health will never again a job in the community long term although she has tried.
My thoughts exactly!
How responsible is that? It’s not…just scamming the system. I would like to know if any of the seven are in the same state of affairs.
Harvey Wallbanger says
30 years? That’s not assistance that’s a lifestyle
Pamela I Andrews says
affordable housing seems lost…
Hard thing is homeowner who rent have mortgage out of control, and to have it to meet a wage they loose, and the renters cannot find a place they can afford, and evictions are out of control…
However…to give a rent that is based on income sec 8, creates pure hell. My husbands employer has many homes on section 8 in Volusia county… They destroy what is a blessing and then owner fined for their disrespect… Pure generational repeating over and over…
a hand up not a hand out for 30 years!!!
Very often it’s those who. . . don’t have a clue about what it means to live the life of being born into a poor family and in a world where you are discriminated against at every turn. . . simply say again and again “get a job”. Just as if it were as simple as flicking a switch. These are also the same people who discriminate and make it even harder to find that light because they passionately believe this way:
1. Against a woman’s rights to control her own body
2. Against assisting with the cost of birth control
3. Against funding higher education/public schools
4. Against public mental health facilities
5. Against food stamps
6. Against each and every form of public assistance
7. Against publicly funded drug rehabilitation
8. Against equal justice for “ALL”
9. Against affirmative action. . . . and on, and on, and on. . . hypocritically ad nauseum
Flagler County Citizen says
Section-8 and other tenant based rental assistance programs really benefit families trying to move up. It’s great for them and their landlords.
It’s bad, though, when there is no accountability or move toward making this work for the property owners. That’s the main issue. To preserve this program as a hand-up to encourage economic mobility (for young families, veterans who are returning home, for displaced workers, people whose industries have changed, people with medical issues and disabilities, for seniors), there has to be a mechanism that protects the property owners who decide to accept the voucher holders as tenants.
That seems to be an issue, right? That not only are property owners jumping through bureaucratic hoops with inspections, etc, but they are afraid to rent to voucher holders due to bad experiences with property damage, non-authorized property dwellers, etc.
There’s got to be an accountability measure for the tenants as well as for HUD, in general–one that pays for damages and levies consequences on tenants who violate housing standards.
I know that most section-8 voucher holders are required to come up with the security deposit, but there should be a feedback mechanism between the property owners and the housing authorities to strengthen that relationship.
Anybody here of birth control?No tears.
Nancy N. says
Some of you all need to re-read the parts of your Bible about charity and judging others.
30 yrs on section 8 with 7 kids…NICE!!! Life is soooo hard and i cant feed my one kid, so lets complicate it with 100 kids. Cry and complain, go on section 8, food stamps, and government funded health care. Probably should have picked another person for this story. Cause all we see is a professional baby maker on a lifetime of “assistance”, still complaining.
the thing is says
“If a family [using housing vouchers] wants to get into a particular neighborhood because it has a good school, they might have to work really hard to do it ……surprise surprise one must work hard to get better things…section 8 and other welfare programs are not supposed to be for life but to help short term. anyone on these programs for 30 years is not trying to get off. anyone who “needs” these programs yet decides to have 7 kids obviously does not understand people are tired of going to work to pay for housing food clothes cellphones and everything else while they keep pumping out the kids….no the landlord doesnt care the color of your skin but keep telling yourself that so you dont have to accept the real problem….no one wants someone else living in their home if they cant even get theirself off welfare after 30 years……ps keep voting for people because they look like you and enjoy welfare for another 30 years. do you not see the correlation?
the thing is says
the 62-year-old said. In her nearly 30 years in the housing voucher program, she’s only had one white landlord.
Housing Choice Vouchers, better known as Section 8 vouchers, are supposed to be a ticket out of poverty for the more than 2 million families that use them each year
hhmmmm 30 years in a program that is supposed to be a ticket out of poverty? imagine the money one could save after 30 years of only having to pay 30% of their income on bills if they actually wanted to..im expected to pay nearly 100% of my income on rent..BECAUSE IT IS MY RESPONSIBILITY not someone else just because they earn more than me.. a person who is ok with a hand out for over 30 years has no pride.
I have rented to section 8 it is the main reason I don’t own rental property anymore. Not all section 8 people are bad but most don’t take care of the property because they have no reason to, if they trash the place they just move, I know it happened to me more than once. I think if section 8 pays the rent the renter should have to put up 3-4 months as a deposit against damage and cleaning.
Mary Fusco says
Sherry, I would probably have to say that I was born into a fairly poor family. Three kids and 2 adults lived in a one bedroom apartment my whole childhood. When I was younger, my father sometimes drank away his weekly salary. My mother worked 2-3 jobs. The first thing I did when I turned 16 was to get a job after school so I could have some things I wanted. My father eventually came to his senses but I was already a teen by then and working while going to school. BTW, my grandmother immigrated from Ireland with 4 children and a bum of a husband. She cleaned houses until she was in her 80’s never receiving any kind of public assistance. She also made sure that 3 of her 4 children were college educated. She lived to 95 so hard work does not kill you. LOL. When I married, we were probably considered lower middle class. Husband worked long, long hours. I was a stay at home mom. When my children were old enough, I went back to work. Things got easier. Fast forward a few years, my girls babysat to earn spending money. My son mowed lawns, etc. When they were old enough, they got jobs in the mall. They went on to college and still worked. My grandchildren ages 13-20 all work and go to school. See the key word here seems to be WORK. Public assistance is a way of life for way too many people. What exactly did people do back in the day when there was no such thing as food stamps? They figured a way to feed their family. My husband’s parents immigrated from Italy. They could barely speak english. They learned the language and worked their asses off to support their family. My MIL would rather have died than take any public assistance for her family. Getting a job is not hard and it is not hard to keep one. Just show up every day. I worked almost 50 years before I retired. I only had a HS education and did not have high paying jobs but I went. When my children were in school, I was an on call teacher aide to make a few dollars. This liberal whining is nauseating to say the least. Not to sound harsh, there are those who desperately need the help and are not getting it. Get these dead beats off their arse so that the truly needy can be helped. By the truly needy I mean the disabled and the elderly.
Hello to you proud people who will never have an accident or be struck down
with a disabling condition—people who will never be bankrupted by 6-figure
medical bills. A big HOWDY!
Hope real hard that you never find yourself in straits because you will wind up
a being called “bum” by people who share your mindset about section 8 vouchers.
Take care. (you better)
WOW just wow IMO i would not use this case to pull at the heart strings of those who go to work everyday raise their families and pay THEIR bills along with in part paying hers. From the article – “I guess they couldn’t tell I was black over the phone,” the 62-year-old said. In her nearly 30 years in the housing voucher program, she’s only had one white landlord. (or did she not say up front she had 7 kids no father and on section 8?) – “If a family [using housing vouchers] wants to get into a particular neighborhood because it has a good school, they might have to work really hard to do it — and it might not work out for them.” (If a family that is intact and both parents are working its really hard to get into a particular neighborhood because it has a good school and might not work out for them) – “I would be so distressed,” said Williams, who has worked as a substitute teacher and a home health aide. “It was like a full-time job, morning to night, morning to night. You wouldn’t believe how much gas I burned up.” – Williams, a single mother.Those housing vouchers enabled Williams to raise her seven kids in suburban neighborhoods in good school districts around the Dallas metro area. She could have a house with a yard, and dogs, and her kids could ride their bikes and have sleepovers. ( this IS the real problem a “single mother” SEVEN kids no full time work or FATHER in the home.
The Section 8 Vouchers is supposed to be a “ticket out of poverty”. So why is it that Ms. Williams is STILL on Section 8 Vouchers after 30 years? Why is it that she has 7 children and not ONCE married with some child support from the low life fathers? My guess is that she has never had any desire to have a better life than what she has currently because that would require hard WORK and determination. Why work hard at trying to pull yourself out of poverty when the enablers keep giving you everything FREE. Socialism at its finest!
A Concerned Observer says
@Hmmm: Perfect, accurate and succinct comment. The only addendum to that reply is how many of her children are also on the government gravy train, and how many of those children have, or will soon have their own children with the same entitled attitude that the government owes them a living? The government cannot give anything to anyone without taking it away from someone else. I, for one, have no compulsion to support generational handouts with no end in sight.
Thirty years on section 8…while I worked THREE jobs to pay my rent and feed my children? Something is wrong with this picture!!
Like stray animals—once you feed them, they won’t leave. If handouts were not available, people would find a way, they would work more, have fewer tattoos, not have smart phones and stay on social media which would allow them more time to work. Key word WORK”.
There should be a lifetime MAX of 5 years on any type of welfare unless you have a physical disability! The writer sure couldn’t of picked a worse case to present! 30 damn years, 7 kids no mention of any fathers or even “baby daddies”, makes me sick! It is people like B.R. Williams that give all welfare receivers bad names! 30 years and counting and she wants to whine about how hard it is to find people willing to rent to her? Get off your lazy, baby pumping rear end and get a damn job and take care of yourself!
I am reading all these complaints about section 8 vouchers. I have heard comments about renters in general not taking care of properties.
Number 1 thing that might be considered here is look at what minmun wage or most jobs here pay unless your an attorney, doctor ,etc. #2. Look at what the basic rent is in Palm Coast, Flagler. It’s higher than many peoples mortgage and ins. Combined. Basic rent average is $1000. Low end and goes up. FIRST ,Last,Security , so ow your talking Three thousand to 5 thousand for getting into a rental. Thats impossible on minum wage, or $10, 12 hour, subtract taxes, etc. Therefore often you will find that renters do rent out a bedroom. Multiple families or different generations living in the same home Housing is very high plus electric, water, car insurance. Because someone is not wealthy does not mean they won’t take care of their residence . I was divorced with 2 kids absent dad. Worked paid my bills over my life I have rented from $60. a month to $1200.
I have owned 3 homes or 4. Its harder to own and maintain everything as a woman,renting is easier. I have had landlords till me the place was in better condition when i moved out than in. It really doesnt have anything to do with renting with or without a voucher. I lived next 2 a lady that was raising a grandchild she was in her 60’s with a teen to raise. She had a voucher , she had to stop work due to cancer. Her place was spotless all the time. I am wf, she is bf. So skin color has nothing to do with it. There are a lot of wealthy snobs here that will go to the free clinic for their flu or pneumonia shot each year. You cant judge everybody based on their income or need,for a voucher. In todays news Mary Ann from Gilligan Island friends had set up A Go Fund Me for her medical. Your life can change quickly. When i lived on the Intercoastal here i saw condos basically just alike some up to $400. Higher than another same development. So i guess cost and greed is a big factor in attitute about renters. As,much as,it sounds like property owners with rental property are assuming their place will get torn up. Treat people with respect and they will probably respect themselves more. Yes your still going to get some renters that just party and dont take care of a property. Just as there are landlords that wont make needed repairs. There needs to be affordable housing, being able to apply without $50. Application fee for each person over 18. So rethink a lot of the complaints listed here. Are they valid or you just don’t like renters yet buy property to rent out.
And the 7 apples will likely not fall far from the tree
Mary Fusco, thank you for your story. My own childhood story is similar. I also came from a very poor family. I worked 50 hour weeks for 40 years to put myself through school and to create the financial success I have in life.
You and I pulled ourselves up by our boot straps. BUT, BUT BUT. . . what if we didn’t have any boot straps???
I assume, like me, you are not a person of color, Mary. Please try to understand that being born with white skin, even into a poor family, is a huge advantage from the moment of birth. We have no true comprehension of the open doors we take for granted. Doors that are unavailable to people of color.
Try to imagine living in a world where you were a complete outcast. . . for every moment of your life. . . except in your immediate family or neighborhood. Try to imagine a life where “NO ONE” in your family had an education beyond elementary school/”NO ONE” had a car or knew how to drive/”NO ONE” had a full time job. Try to imagine living in a society where you are judged and resented, and considered to be almost sub-human merely because of the color of your skin.
There is no way any white person can begin to comprehend the endless barriers thrown in front of people of color every single day. I would say, “Walk a Mile in Their Shoes”. . . but, what if there are only blisters on bare feet???
Tired of it all... says
I’m sorry… if you’re on Section 8, you should be required to keep your legs closed and your pants zipped. There are MANY MANY MANY families that purposely abuse public assistance programs for their own benefit. It’s disgusting and makes it really terrible for the ones that are actively trying to better themselves and truly get a “hand up”. This woman is very obviously NOT one of them.
Concerned Citizen says
Another fine upstanding citizen working the system then crying when she can’t get someone to feel sorry for her. Sorry not sorry.
There used to be a thing called Equal Housing Opportunity but no more. Now rentals are run by “management and vacation companies” who demand first last and security that equal to the full amount of rent. You’re looking at almost 4 to 5K to move in. That doesn’t count “application fees” and background checks. Then my favorite of all 3 times gross monthly income. Yeah OK on that happening here in Flagler County. And why? All because a lot of renters don’t respect the property they rent.
I have a solid rental history clean background check decent credit score and had 3 months rent saved. It took finding a “private land lord” who was willing to work with me to get into a decent place. Now I’ve been there 3 years made improvements and helped increase the property value. I’m not able to purchase right now because my credit score needs to be a bit higher to obtain an affordable APR. Renting is a good way when you can’t purchase to own.
Section 8 wasn’t designed for a 30 year ride. It was designed for Low Income families to be able to obtain housing then work out of it. The problem is lack of checks and balances. There are too many people riding on Section 8 long after the need and no one following up to see if it’s still needed. There needs to be some sort of verification process to continue eligibility.
Mary Fusco says
Sherry, we are not still in the 50’s. Opportunities are available. Sometimes more opportunities, especially in education for “people of color” as you call them. It’s amazing that people have no education BUT are quite capable of contacting the proper agencies and filling out the paperwork for their lifetime of handouts. They have no problem having children and knowing exactly where to go for free prenatal care, free hospital and delivery, free WIC, foodstamps, etc. etc. etc. When I was 65 I was still working and planned to work until 70. However, I got laid off because the company lost a contract. I was told by HR that I could collect unemployment. I had not a clue where to start.. They explained it to me and I applied. Of course, I got approved. Low and behold bimonthly payments started to appear in my checking account. All I said to myself was GD, this is how the other half lives while I was busting my ass all those years.. Do nothing and money appears. LOL. I had it for a couple of months and then just decided to retire so I stopped it, which is the honest thing to do. Bottom line is that if you keep handing people everything they will never help themselves.. This woman is a prime example.
@30 year ride?
Funny you should mention it:
Here’s the real reason you don’t make enough money
By Thomas A. Kochan September 1, 2015
“As Labor Day approaches, we are likely to hear from a growing chorus of political, religious, academic, labor and business leaders who agree “America needs a raise” to reverse three decades of wage stagnation and rising income inequality…”
Link to full article
“Some folks are born silver spoon in hand
Lord, don’t they help themselves, no
But when the taxman comes to the door
Lord, the house looks like a rummage sale, yeah…”
– Fortunate Son, Creedence Clearwater Revival
Dear Mary and others,
Perhaps these videos and reports will provide some tiny bit of understanding. Please take a moment:
I skimmed a few of the comments and I am saddened that people still think that there are no gray areas in life! I am a 48 y/o who is now on the waiting list for section 8 and it is not by choice. I owned my (then) dream home which was newly built from Seagate. Unbeknownst to me, black mold festered due to poor construction and 8 years later, I had to go on disability and leave my career as an Occupational Therapist. I am now only able to work part-time but out of the healthcare field which was my passion.
We as a human race need to open our minds and stop assuming and start treating others as we would like to be treated.