Housing Crisis Leaves Section 8 Renters on Outside Looking In

UPDATE, Sept. 25, 2015: Every now and then we like to report good news. Donna Hinck was able to find a one-bedroom apartment a week before her housing voucher was set to expire. 

A strident yellow-and-red banner promises cheap, spacious flats, but Donna Hinck tries to temper her expectations.

“Don’t get your hopes up,” she mutters to herself, shaking her head and smiling against her will at the prospect. “Don’t get too excited.”

Hinck, 54 and homeless, waited nine years for her Housing Choice Voucher, known as Section 8. In March, the Housing Authority of the County of Santa Clara, which administers the federal rent subsidy, called her with the good news. On a waiting list 25,000 names and a decade long, hers was the next in line.

April 2, she began her search. With help from a case manager, she typed a renter’s resume emblazoned in one corner with a professional headshot. In a blue binder, she compiled hundreds of printed-out listings, cards and letters of recommendation.

After six months, hundreds of calls, emails and in-the-flesh visits, Hinck has yet to find a home. Next week, her voucher expires, as does a months-long couch-surfing stay at a friend’s East Side duplex. Unless she finds a place by Oct. 1, she’ll move into a downtown San Jose shelter. For now, there’s still some time, however short.

To her visit at the cul-de-sac complex with the bold red sign, she wears a floral shawl, her tawny bottle blonde hair brushed into an up-do, her cheeks pinched pink with blush. She cautiously steps past the red door and into the front room. The unit is bright, white and clean, and smells of fresh paint.

“I wish it was mine,” she says, her face twisting into a sob. “I wish one day I can have a home like this, somewhere my grandkids can visit.”

Property manager Cindy Maschke walks up minutes later to let her down gently. They no longer accept vouchers, she says. Not after two Section 8 tenants burned down a couple units and the housing authority took nearly a month to inspect a third.

“That was it for us,” Maschke says, wincing apologetically. “Money down the drain.”

In Santa Clara County, 1,028 people have a rental subsidy in hand but no place to use it, leaving them in limbo, bunking with friends or family, ducking under tents and overpasses or languishing in shelters. An affordable housing shortage, rising rents, red tape and a lingering stigma about people on public assistance have made it nearly impossible for voucher holders to compete with other prospective renters.

Section 8, created in 1974 after President Nixon called public housing projects “monstrous, depressing places,” meant to allow residents to redeem public subsidies with private landlords. The idea was that low-income families could choose their home, live anonymously in a mixed-income neighborhood and achieve upward mobility. With a voucher, a family pays about a third of their income in rent.

Market forces, however, have increasingly rendered that golden ticket a false hope.

“In this housing climate, where people are applying for apartments and bringing roses and resumes and great credit scores, our participants are really challenged,” says Katherine Harasz, the housing authority’s interim director since June.

Katherine Harasz.

Katherine Harasz.

In the past several months, housing officials have been figuring out ways to entice more landlords to participate and improve the odds for tenants. One obstacle is that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which administers the program, arrives at so-called fair market rents based on few-year-old market data.

“What you get is a valuation that’s not fair, not market and rarely enough to cover the rent,” Harasz says.

To close the gap between federal assistance and increasing rents in Silicon Valley, the authority in August raised the max monthly subsidy to 110 percent of the HUD fair market rent. The move will help about 5,760 families and cost the authority about $20 million more.

Even by raising the payments to the maximum allowed by law, a gap persists between subsidies and market rents.

The agency’s goal is to attract more landlords who endorse the mission of Section 8 even if they can collect higher rents from market-rate tenants. Last December, the authority surveyed 9,000 current and former Section 8 landlords; about 2,000 responded. While 66 percent said they initially signed on to the program because of the reliable monthly payments, many opted out because of low contract rents and slow response from housing officials.

Over the summer, the agency appointed a landlord ombudsman to parse through queries and resolve problems faster. In July, it sent out the first edition of a landlord bulletin and the authority also plans to speed up inspections, so property owners can get that first month’s rent on time. Launching in October: an online portal for landlords to access their accounts. Harasz aims to ramp up marketing and has suggested creating a designation for responsible property owners, something to brand them as good landlords.

In the 2014 survey, 38 percent of former Section 8 landlords said they left the program because of problem tenants. Though unreliable tenants aren’t exclusive to public housing subsidies, agency officials say they need to dispel some of that stigma around the program so landlords understand the housing authority’s role.

“Landlords sometimes mistakenly believe that the authority screens tenants,” she says. “That’s not the case. The onus still falls on the landlord.”

With larger property management companies erring on the side of profit in a white hot market, the authority has tried to market subsidies to mom-and-pop landlords. But for many property owners who spoke to the agency, the hang-up was not as much with tenants but the bureaucracy. Inspections can take several weeks, putting landlords out a full month’s rent.

Screen Shot 2015-09-23 at 11.19.07 AM

Source: Housing Authority of the County of Santa Clara

A HUD study out this summer found that rental subsidies—namely the much-maligned $19.3 billion-a-year Section 8 program—offers the most effective hand up out of homelessness compared to transitional housing and other short-term approaches. Researchers concluded that permanent vouchers were more likely than crisis intervention programs to provide stability to families.

The four-decade-old program also reduced the changes of drug and alcohol use, hunger and domestic violence compared to families who stayed in shelters, according to the report.

“Housing is a basic need, a fundamental need,” Harasz says. “It’s the platform from which everything else—money, family, health—can thrive.”

However, lingering budget cuts from the 2013 federal sequester, which nixed 67,000 vouchers nationwide, froze issuance of new vouchers and landlord petitions for rent increases for years. While President Obama restored vouchers almost to pre-sequestration levels, one debilitating change from the sequester that persists is the shift from a several-year to an annual budget cycle.

“Now, every year we have to wait for our federal budget, whereas before we would have it set for eight to 10 years,” Harasz says. “That doesn’t give us a lot of time to turn the knobs and adjust to people don’t end up on the street.”

The housing authority, which serves 17,000 in all, has also started to tie some Section 8 vouchers to newly built affordable housing instead of recipients. Those 1,000 project-based vouchers comprise $222 million in funding over the next 15 years. Tied to tax credits and other investments, that value could come close to $700 million in financing for affordable housing builders.

"Of course, that doesn't help someone who's looking for housing right now," Harasz concedes.

Having spent her share of nights in the open air, Hinck feels a familiar anxiety welling up with each passing day. The idea of bunking in a shelter by next month quickens her breathing, tightens her chest and kicks off a nicotine craving.

“I’m almost old enough to retire,” she says, clutching her Marlboro lights in one hand and her binder of apartment listings in the other. “I’ve never lived in those places. I’m scared.”

After more than 450 listings, hundreds of bus trips and countless false leads, Hinck can’t help but get choked up. Walking away from another rejection, she begins to plot the multi-bus route to her next apartment viewings. Three buses there, three buses back.

“No time to breathe,” she says with a nervous laugh.

Days away from being cast out to the streets, Hinck has to submit her application to the Julian Street shelter. Just in case. Ten days before her voucher expires, she has to request a final extension. If not approved, she’ll have sailed through the Section 8 program never having found a place to live.

Donna Hinck waited nine years to claim her Section 8 voucher. Now, she's running out of time to use it. (Photo by Greg Ramar)

Donna Hinck will have to move into a shelter next week unless she finds a place to stay. (Photo by Greg Ramar)

Jennifer Wadsworth is a staff writer for San Jose Inside and Metro Newspaper. Email tips to [email protected] or follow her on Twitter at @jennwadsworth.

45 Comments

  1. Section 8 Housing vouchers are a signal to landlords-accept Section 8 vouchers and the troubled masses that recieve them, at your economic peril.

    San Jose’s projected Rent Control Ordinance is only going to make matters very much worse for Section 8 reciepients.

    What landlord would want to endure the projected Rent Control Ordinance in the first place and then accept Section 8 vouchers and the financial headaches that come with them?

    People who cannot afford to live in Santa Clara County (or the Bay Area) must move somewhere else to live out their lives in dignity and peace.

    Section 8 is an etitlement program that propagates false hopes and promises.

    Let the market place set the price for housing costs.

    Section 8; the County Housing Authority and the City of San Jose’s Housing Department needs to be eliminated.

    David S. Wall

    • People who cannot afford to live in Santa Clara County (or the Bay Area) must move somewhere else to live out their lives in dignity and peace.

      Mr Wall that is a very true statement that many do not want to accept. Ms. Hinck waited NINE YEARS AND SIIX MONTHS on the list for a section 8 voucher. What happened to section 8 being a temporary support offered as a bridge for individuals and families to right their situation? If after 9 1/2 years you are still on the list, still in the dire financial condition that requires section 8 support the harsh reality is that this area is too expensive for you to live and sustain yourself independently. There may be reasons you want to stay in California or the area including family but unless that family is willing to assist you, give you a place to live it makes no sense to stay in an area where you are out priced with little or no hope of overcoming WITHOUT A TAX PAYER FUNDED ENTITLEMENT PROGRAM. Why people continue to pander the unobtainable goal of assisting everyone to live in the pricey bay area how about use some tax payer dollars to help relocate them to a place where they can actually have a chance to thrive and find housing?

      • I agree, the government should not be paying peoples’ rent. But since it does, it should certainly have a limit, maybe one year.

        But there must be more to this story. I have rented to many Section 8 tenants, and they’ve been better than a lot of regular renters. If they lose their voucher, they cannot get it again. Trashing an apartment, violating the terms of the lease, etc., will cause them to lose their voucher. If they’re evicted for non-payment of their portion of the rent, they lose their voucher. I question that 38% of owners said they stopped renting to Section 8 tenants. I’d like to hear their reasons. I’d like to ask them some more questions.

        Also, why can’t this woman rent a place a little farther out, like Stockton, Manteca, etc? Then the time presure is off, and she can relocate here when it’s convenient. Could there be an unstated reason why she’s being rejected?

        I haven’t rented to Section 8 tenants since 2003, when I sold my apartments. So maybe things have changed. But as I said, I never had any problems with Section 8 renters. They have way too much to lose if their voucher is revoked. And unlike many tenants, the gov’t always paid on time.

      • “how about use some tax payer dollars to help relocate them to a place where they can actually have a chance to thrive and find housing?”

        Absolutely not. This would enable anybody to come to Santa Clara County with the expectation if they don’t recieve “free-rent” they get an all expense ticket to plague some other unsuspecting jurisdiction.

        At some point, there must be personal accountability for one’s actions and life style choices.

        David S. Wall

        • A lot of people on section 8 are disabled. Taking the bus is extremely time consuming and physically demanding and probably makes it impossible to go very far looking for a place to rent. There is no separate program to help the disabled and there is nowhere at all that many of them can live without the HUD/Section 8 assistance. Not all disabilities are visually apparent. There are a lot of noncontagious, incurable, debilitating illnesses and conditions that make life extremely difficult and working impossible. I know because I’m in that boat. I have lived in the same place for 16 years because I always pay my share of the rent on time along with my bills and am a quiet responsible person. I can’t say the same for the noisy druggie neighbors who have made my life completely miserable the whole time I’ve been here. I have no way to come up with moving money and there is no where better in my town that I could even afford either. Please realize that everyone has an individual story and not all deserve the criticism that is assumed by many that they do.

    • > Section 8 is an etitlement program that propagates false hopes and promises.

      Aren’t there laws against making representations that foster “false hopes and promises”?

      Aren’t these representations categorized as “Ponzi schemes”, false advertising, bait and switch, fraud, racketeering, etc., etc.?

      Why can’t we arrest the people making these representations and put them in jail?

    • damn David you are lucky to be white and male (and i’ve never seen you in my life)and all it implies which you are obviously oblivious exist..such universal arrogance to think that bad stuff won’t happen to you even if your ancestors left you with a nest egg..you go booyeeeeee!

      • Shabby:

        Don’t get mad at David. He didn’t make the “false hopes and promises” .

        What do you THINK you were promised? And, who made those promises? Chances are, they were probably not “white and male”.

        If you feel entitled to hate someone, for heaven’s sake, hate the person who conned you for your vote and gave your Section 8 chit to a Muslim from Syria.

        • lol white folks and their juvenile attempts to demean.. like calling Africans “n-gers” and making positive historical names like Redskin to mean “savage”.. with a mentally like that how can anyone really respect your thoughts?

          but just for the hell of it, who’s talking about promise, hate, or muslims? Try history, privilege and reciprocity (something that had for the european because they use it as revenge) but all this is beyound you i’m sure.. and since you think i’m Shabby, from here om out you can kiss my shabby behind.. love you

          • for those of you who may read this, when i ref European, i speak od cultural world views which all white skinned people don’t subscribe because we have ppl like Ms. Hinck.. however she may change with money.

    • It’s the “market place” that is the reason why section 8 is being eliminated by Obama you thick headed monster. The market place doesn’t already set the price? You fool, Section 8 was the first “market place” privatization of public housing under Nixon. It was meant to make it hard for people to find housing.

      I hope you are never in an accident or become unable to work. You know why? Because after Bush and Obama bailed out the billionaires on the backs of the masses they have bankrupted the states and the nation. The first people on the chopping block are the most destitute. You are on the conveyer belt my son. You are next. Total idiotic comment. Blame the poor not the wealthy,

      And your comment doesn’t even make grammatical or substantive sense

    • Section 8 and publich housing are being dismantled due to teh Capitalists crisis, not our crisis. The billionaires cannot make money of a productive economy so they resort to financial, fictitious capital like derivatives. When the bubble bursts it’s the people who pay. Your enemy is not the poor it’s the billionaires who own everyone of us and run but the democratic and republican party. Our democracy is the rule of the rich! A little Marx and Lenin will clear your head for you.

      The state or what you all call “the government” functions for the rich. These benefits were a way to pacify the working masses in order for the rich to continue to exploit all of us.

      Landlords don’t care where they get their money from. Why isn’t anyone getting on their backs. They are equal opportunity exploiters.

      • To both of your comments: exactly. Except that it isn’t that the billionaires can’t make enough money, it’s that they can’t make ludicrous amounts of it.

    • I know I am late to the party but this is still very valid today.
      David:
      To get help to cover “absolute necessities to life” (basic safe shelter) IS NOT entitlement. Especially when many of those cases, the person seeking help, is not entirely responsible for their predicament.(people with disabilities or old age or sick with chronic health problems from a hard life, is good example, Often times caused by negligence or callous acts of the people around them). Often times people wind up needing help, because other people, that make up the mainstream society rejects them, belittles them, accuses them of things that are just flat out false. Simply because they do not understand “life” being most of them, been secure in their necessities of life. BUT when your not secure in those necessities of life, is hard, unforgiving of the tiniest mistakes and even when no mistakes were made, can be down right deadly of life threatening. Any mishap at this level causes severe harm to life. In other words these people become even sicker or flat out die, because of callous behaviors/thoughts and acts by people like yourself.

      Entitlement: is when you give handouts to those that will never be “needing” of the necessities of life. Who caused their own crisis and the crisis for many other people around them, for becoming too greedy and making unethical immoral decisions to push their greed even further. Then getting Multi billion dollar bailout. For malice, cruelty, callousness, greed, conspiracy to commit murder, conspiracy to commit exploitation of those who can not defend themselves against the greed. Conspiracy to swindle their workers out of the earnings they deserve for the hard work they do for the company. Conspiracy to evade their financial responsibility to society for the public infrastructures they use for free because they do not pay for the infrastructure they use due to their evasion of their financial responsibility which by the way is a drop in the bucket of their profit margins. . ETC ETC ETC

      Then you have the audacity to tell them to move out of the city?? Away from the other services these people need to to survive on minimal substance?. THEY CAN NOT MOVE. Moving requires a horrendous amount of resources and money, to which these people do NOT have access to, It requires finding new services for assistance to which helps them in the current place they reside. Which is NOT, available in most locals other than in “cities” (100,000 people and up) Towns(less than 100,000) DO NOT offer most of these services, because they do not have the infrastructure or money to support those services. I mean Have you not been paying attention to the news of late. The lack of availability of mental health services?? For example. Lack of Available Affordable housing to which this article itself points out?? Moving out of the city does NOT change this problem, it only gets worse outside the city.

      DID you learn NOTHING from this article? The time consuming nature to which she wastes, just to try to find shelter, much-less food support, mental health assistance, financial assistance etc etc etc etc. She has ABSOLUTELY no time to spare, NOR money to spend, to look for a place outside the city. ESPECIALLY when she is limited to the distance to which the bus system travels. She is LOCKED in, by a society who just plains does not care. As demonstrated by your callous unfounded ill-informed remarks.

  2. The Section 8 Program, like every government housing program before it, is a failure. It is a failure because government bureaucracies cannot effectively manage housing. Billions of taxpayer dollars have been poured into housing projects since the 1930’s. Almost all of those buildings have been razed, most of the units were not replaced because some government hack thought that vouchers would work and perhaps they did, at first. The reasons that landlords are fleeing Section 8 is due to the governments own changing rules, regulations and red tape. Units are often destroyed by bad tenants who abuse the system (and there is mass abuse) anyone who tells you there isn’t is lying or ignornant. Landords get NOTHING from HUD for repairs which can be in the thousands of dollars and take the unit off the market for months, more lost reveune.

    The government has cut funding to HUD and Section 8 every year since 2005 and the FY2016 THUD bill makes even bigger cuts, eliminating 28,000 more vouchers on top of the 70,000 that were cut due to sequestration. Why would any landlord with common sense risk contracting with the government on the governments terms? They get far less money in, they have to put out far more money (which they get no return on) and they get high risk tenants. If I have someone with an 800 credit score holding flowers and candy at my door, you bet I’m going to rent to them full market rate. To be involved with Section 8 at this point in the game is foolhardy and money down the toliet for landlords.

    The Feds are already draining this program and it’s time to stop the bleeding and end it. Only those who are seniors, handicaped or vets should be able to keep their vouchers, all unused vouchers should be terminated and only provided to the groups I listed above. People need to live where they can afford to live and not expect Uncle Sugar to pay their rent for their entire lives. If I was someone on a voucher I would be doing anything I could to get out from under it, because in within a few years the entire program will be eliminated.

    • JT,

      Are you a landlord? You don’t make it clear if you are. If so, do you rent to Section 8 tenants? Why, or why not?

      I agree especially with your last paragraph. But when I rented to Section 8 folks, the gov’t paid 75% of their rent, and the rent schedules were pretty generous. The government’s rent schedule was about the same as the market rents.

      I suppose maybe now with the rental market much higher, those rent schedules could have fallen behind. If so, that’s wrong, and the gov’t should fix the numbers.

      But eliminating Section 8 except for the groups you mentioned is the way to go. They should eliminate rent control while they’re at it. Rent control is a big reason for the shortage of housing (I know there are many other reasons too, like over regulation).

      Rent control doesn’t really do much in the long run, except make it harder to run the business. Owners just figure out ways to get around the limits.

      • @smokey:
        what you fail to take into account is that the income of the people using section 8 is decreasing almost every year and NOT keeping up with true inflation. The true inflation is things like landlords increasing rent, using justification A,B,C in order to increase profit for less work and in many cases has nothing to do with A,B,C. This is the reason HUD limits the rent to what is considered reasonable rates for the quality of apartment in the region, in ratio to the average income of the person’s using section 8 for that region.

        As far as damage, when all is said and done those on section 8 are no more likely to damage the apartment, than anyone else in the same income bracket. or other renters for that matter.

        The repairs comes from the deposit. how much damage and what is considered normal wear and tare is subjective, depending who’s perspective you look at it from. Most landlords view normal wear and tare to be damage. But its not.

        I think its more a case that Landlords had expectations much higher than reality, Free money or easy money, on regular basis attitude. Only its work. And its the landlords responsibility to screen tenants(like any other tenant) NOT H.U.D.

        • > Most landlords view normal wear and tare to be damage. But its not.

          No landlord wants to have this debate with a Section 8 renters and their poverty lawyers after the fact.

          It is absolutely, totally, a “NO WIN” proposition for the landlord.

          Section 8 tenants? No thank you.

    • Uh,,, my landlady makes the exact amount of money off of me as she does the tenants who aren’t on a government subsidy and she can evict me anytime I become unable to pay the rent. I’ve been here for 16 years, so what if she just would have assumed due to stupid rumors that I was a big ol’ risk? She would be renting to more of the druggies who actually do end up costing her extra. Disabled people who legitimately can’t work, can’t work. Some of us could work small at home businesses but there is no program to help us do that. We live month to month and only buy necessities. Wish people would realize there are different stories and quit lumping us all into the “obviously lazy” category.

      • Karen:

        Great! Pay your rent on time and keep good relations with your landlord. You probably won’t have any problems.

        If you have any problems, TALK WITH YOUR LANDLORD.

        MY OPINION is that the worst thing you can do is get a poverty lawyer/tenant advocate involved. They really don’t care if they solve YOUR problem. They’re Social Justice Warriors and they want to feel really good about themselves for doing “social justice”.

        The more miserable, pathetic, and wretched your situation, the more “social justice” they feel they’ve done. In other words, YOUR suffering makes THEM feel good.

  3. First, I am a landlord and I do believe that Section 8 is the best possible way to offer government sanctioned affordable housing. Having low-income people reside in one, underserved part of town (projects/slums) helps no one. Project/slum residents are stuck in a bad situation while the rest of the city pays a huge price in crime, productivity loss, and accompanying support services. Section 8 allows tenants to live in good school districts, close to decent jobs, and allow their children to attend universities and colleges while living at home. Those that argue government should not house people are of course entitled to their opinion. I would rather pay the tax and have people in homes rather than stepping over them as they make house in the grocery store parking lot, like they do here in San Jose.

    Regarding the new ordinance debate on Section 8 in San Jose, I do not think this will help the broad cross section of low wage earners. I may be wrong, but it does not require the landlord to take less than market rent on the unit. It only requires the landlord to accept the voucher as a valid “source of income”, which technically it is not. Like many liberal policies, this requirement ignores basic supply/demand principles and focuses the benefits on those that opt in to large government programs. Requiring acceptance of Section 8 vouchers will only increase demand for SJ units, which will drive rent up more for everyone. Why drive up from Gilroy when you can live in San Jose? Section 8 voucher holders will only have to prove the difference in income between market rent and the HUD subsidy to secure the unit. The ones that will pay the price are the low wage earners not on Section 8.

    • Section 8 does not put you in a good school district and if you are in a good school district then you are living under a slumlords property. I know; I have sewage in my basement and if I say anything to section 8 , I get evicted because landlord can say he changes his mind to do section 8 with me when in reality he doesn’t want to spend the money to fix the problems. There are section 8 tenants who are slums and landlords on Section 8 that are slums. I work and believe me if I could , I would be off this program in a minute.

    • And you ignored the “most important factor of all” the incomes of the people who actually live there and the disregards to that fact when people set their prices for their goods and services.

      But things like safe shelter, which is “ACTUAL necessity of life” Can not be handled like every other capitalistic endeavor. Because the greed of the capitalist, is endangering lives of other people, which is in direct violation of the constitution. In pursuit of freedom and happiness, One man’s freedom ends at the next man’s face. So the capitalist landlord, setting the rent too high, is interfering with the freedom of the renters.

      The job of the government is to set the rules that prevent one man from over stepping the rights of another and vice versus

  4. > The ones that will pay the price are the low wage earners not on Section 8.

    Which, to make a moral judgement, is NOT FAIR!

    So then, how do the Big Hearts propose to make it fair?

    • Section 8 is not a fair system. This is the point of the first paragraph. To keep many people from being homeless, the government must subsidize their housing. To keep from having war zone like projects/slums, the government must distribute low income residents across metros. Is it fair Section 8 subsidizes kids to go to Cupertino schools, no. Is it the best possible solution to not having tens of thousands more walking the streets at night, I believe, yes.

      However, every aspect of the new rent control ordinance debate are so flawed, it is not possible to outline them all here. The most illogical stipulation is the requirement for acceptance of Section 8 vouchers. This has already been tested in CA, Sabi v. Sterling. Requiring acceptance of vouchers was struck down and that finding was affirmed by CA Supreme Court. Like Measure B, the city council will try to put into place a law that has already been found to be illegal, which will cost the city millions, likely, in legal proceedings. Additionally, it is harmful to low income earners who won’t or can’t take welfare.

      If people on this forum don’t like it, please forward your complaints to the city council or attend some of the rent control task force meetings and voice your concerns.

      • Yes that is my families situation. I’m a second year community college student and finishing my last semester this spring before transferring. I have to stay in the same community college to finish organic chemistry and biology or else the UCs don’t allow transfer. Not to mention it’s impossible to find classes that are open at other campuses in the odd event they consider my application. Thanks for your comment I feel you understand what section 8 is meant for.

        • AT – I know a C-level tech exec that participated in the program in college. Now that person is doing quite well, I hope the same for you. Good luck!

  5. Another flawed op-ed piece from Jenn, who never even hints at why Ms. Hinck’s children haven’t offered her a place to stay for the nine years she has been on the section 8 voucher wait list. Also not a hint about Ms. Hinck’s current and long term job status. No comment from Jenn re her education, and thus her maximum level of employability in a very expensive part of the planet. However, Jenn did take the time to tell us how Ms. Hincks was dressed and a little about her makeup, the fact that she smoked Marlboro lights (a costly habit for someone who can’t scrounge up rent), and even provided photos of her latest poster child. One thing is clear from the photos—despite her shaky financial status, Ms. Hincks clearly hasn’t missed a meal in a long while. And she still has money for Marlboro Lights. To be fair to Jenn, she did disclose that 2 previous section 8 tenants burned down “a couple units”.
    “The agency’s goal is to attract more landlords who endorse the mission of Section 8 even if they can collect higher rents from market-rate tenants.” Good luck with that. “Harasz aims to ramp up marketing and has suggested creating a designation for responsible property owners, something to brand them as good landlords.” I applaud Ms. Harasz for her great sounding idea. It shows some thinking outside the box. But how many people are going to take a $500 or more/month bath to get an “Atta Boy!” from the Housing Authority? “Landlords sometimes mistakenly believe that the authority screens tenants,” she says. “That’s not the case. The onus still falls on the landlord.” Great—sicking deadbeat tenants on unsuspecting landlords—government at its finest.

    • > “Harasz aims to ramp up marketing and has suggested creating a designation for responsible property owners, something to brand them as good landlords.”

      Why limit this bold, innovative initiative to just landlords?

      Why not have government bureaucrats brand all citizens across multiple dimensions to help foster responsible citizenship and good behavior.

      People who didn’t accept the government’s pronouncements on global warming could be branded as “climate deniers”.

      People who didn’t accept the government’s ranking of the population on the basis of racial victimization could be branded as “racists”.

      And people who were just deemed by the government to be unlikable or unenthusiastic about the regime’s policies could be branded as “enemies of the people”.

      And, just to be sure that the public couldn’t be misled by people denying the brands that the government assigned to them, the brands could be permanently tattooed on people’s foreheads.

  6. The reason I left America is y’all too stuck in your old white 1829 ways. You Republican idiots stereotype too much.Not everybody on section 8 is going to destroy the property dumb ass country full of bigots in control of te country.

    • > The reason I left America is y’all too stuck in your old white 1829 ways.

      Admit it. You miss Republicans, don’t you.

      Would you care to tell us what third world hell hole you are now living in that makes you nostalgic for Republcans?

      Who do you miss more. John Boehner of Lindsay Graham?

  7. What about the disabled people who receive Sect 8 assistance, I’m talking spinal cord injuries, etc, I know someone like this, quadriplegic since age 21 due to car accident, unemployable, should her Sect 8 be revoked? Just asking.

    • That’s what I’m commenting about too. There are so many disabilities that prevent people from working. Too bad they don’t have a separate official category for them so people quit lumping them in with the “obviously lazy,” or “not even trying,” categories. It makes their lives more painful on a regular basis. A lot of disabilities aren’t visually apparent, and I’m not talking about ADHD. I’m talking about physically limiting chronic illnesses.

  8. I am on Section 8 in a good school district in Summit county, Ohio and do not move here. The housing sucks. and so doesthe weather. and jobs. and only here for the school and really want to move due to the landlord being a slumlord. Imagine having 300 apartments and insurance bus. on the side and to have sewage in the basement 5 times and windows rotted out so bad that some dont open or close . Dog crap, garbage everywhere and on and on. The only way something gets done is by calling anonymously to the city and this man goes up on the rent every year and does absolutely nothing but once a year on the Sect. 8 inspection of painting basement stairs. Why? so they can look nice and pretty for the plumbers to come and snake the hole in the baement to tell the landlord to cut his treesdown for roots growing around the pipes. Endless headache, stress and pure aggravation. This is what you get on Section 8. Grateful for the housing and the help but this is no way to live and is not fair. I tell people what my rent is here 760 for a 2 bedroom and pay my own elect. and gas. For what, to go right out the windows that have gaps the size of my thumb and floors warping and mold! Lets not even go there with the mold. I am aclean tenant who washes walls and shampoos own carpets. Takes care of my place and works part time. Full time is not available yet at my job. If I could do it without Section 8 I would. I would not takeadvantage of the system like so many people have done andstill are. No onewill take Sect. 8 due tothe fact that idiots like my neighbors ruined it and landlords with nice places do not want to deal with the insanity of it all. It is so sad. I basically am stuck here and miserable; but I keep trucking on and ask God for help to run into an landlord who will accept Section 8 . People shouldnt knock all of Section 8 tenants because there are good people out there. But there are bad landlords too. More bad landlords just as much as there are bad Section 8 tenants. Its all Its terrible; what I see out here I could write a book just about this issue alone.

  9. David:
    To get help to cover “absolute necessities to life” (basic safe shelter) IS NOT entitlement. Especially when many of those cases, the person seeking help, is not entirely responsible for their predicament.(people with disabilities or old age or sick with chronic health problems from a hard life, is good example, Often times caused by negligence or callous acts of the people around them). Often times people wind up needing help, because other people, that make up the mainstream society rejects them, belittles them, accuses them of things that are just flat out false. Simply because they do not understand “life” being most of them, been secure in their necessities of life. BUT when your not secure in those necessities of life, is hard, unforgiving of the tiniest mistakes and even when no mistakes were made, can be down right deadly of life threatening. Any mishap at this level causes severe harm to life. In other words these people become even sicker or flat out die, because of callous behaviors/thoughts and acts by people like yourself.

    Entitlement: is when you give handouts to those that will never be “needing” of the necessities of life. Who caused their own crisis and the crisis for many other people around them, for becoming too greedy and making unethical immoral decisions to push their greed even further. Then getting Multi billion dollar bailout. For malice, cruelty, callousness, greed, conspiracy to commit murder, conspiracy to commit exploitation of those who can not defend themselves against the greed. Conspiracy to swindle their workers out of the earnings they deserve for the hard work they do for the company. Conspiracy to evade their financial responsibility to society for the public infrastructures they use for free because they do not pay for the infrastructure they use due to their evasion of their financial responsibility which by the way is a drop in the bucket of their profit margins. . ETC ETC ETC

    Then you have the audacity to tell them to move out of the city?? Away from the other services these people need to to survive on minimal substance?. THEY CAN NOT MOVE. Moving requires a horrendous amount of resources and money, to which these people do NOT have access to, It requires finding new services for assistance to which helps them in the current place they reside. Which is NOT, available in most locals other than in “cities” (100,000 people and up) Towns(less than 100,000) DO NOT offer most of these services, because they do not have the infrastructure or money to support those services. I mean Have you not been paying attention to the news of late. The lack of availability of mental health services?? For example. Lack of Available Affordable housing to which this article itself points out?? Moving out of the city does NOT change this problem, it only gets worse outside the city.

    DID you learn NOTHING from this article? The time consuming nature to which she wastes, just to try to find shelter, much-less food support, mental health assistance, financial assistance etc etc etc etc. She has ABSOLUTELY no time to spare, NOR money to spend, to look for a place outside the city. ESPECIALLY when she is limited to the distance to which the bus system travels. She is LOCKED in, by a society who just plains does not care. As demonstrated by your callous unfounded ill-informed remarks.

  10. Its time to follow instep with Oregon passing law , That Landlords can NOT discriminate anymore against Section,Hud Housing,etc.al..
    Helping the people born and raised here come first, because if we can’t help our own how in the hell you expect to help others, we are so backwards and continue to make excuses, when the moneys we give away and waist on so many other things,projects,space rockets, BS politicians who make promises they can’t keep, our system fails time after time and the Greedy and big corporations , like Apple,Google ,Facebook just to name a few try to rule the world.
    We have homeless, mental ill and we fail to help them…We fail Social Security when then economy keeps rising because the GREEDY demand more and more and more and you give Social Security a funky 10.00 raise a year, and expecting them to make it on less than 900.00 a month, Greed is destroying us, whens is enough a enough, how high is high until we realize when its too late , we should of ,could of, but didn’t, We Failed the people, we should of listen to them and not to all the idiots that couldn’t care less.
    In today’s world Kids are struggling to get jobs and especially single moms, its pathetic, a 16 year old goes to target and they want them to fill out a 54 page application, when a front and back app, all they can do is put down their name ,phone,address,social,and experience well i baby sat…..Psychological profiling at its stupidest, wanting them to give information about people in the house hold, This is got to stop and the DumbAzzez who come up with this and the ones who approve it…..
    Also your born and raised here, English is the first language, BUT yet you have to press 1 for English, REALLY?, why not by pass us and just say 1 for Spanish,2 for whatever….WHO the heck’s idea was this and who allowed this ?
    Ok….

    Back to Following Oregon’s passage, what are we waiting for , get er done…..Discrimination is against the LAW, Really ? Well that is a lie because people discriminate against housing,section 8, Hud Daily… STOP !!! Discrimination is discrimination how ever you look at it….

    Its time to follow instep with Oregon passing law , That Landlords can NOT discriminate anymore against Section,Hud Housing,etc.al..
    Helping the people born and raised here come first, because if we can’t help our own how in the hell you expect to help others, we are so backwards and continue to make excuses, when the moneys we give away and waist on so many other things,projects,space rockets, BS politicians who make promises they can’t keep, our system fails time after time and the Greedy and big corporations , like Apple,Google ,Facebook just to name a few try to rule the world.
    We have homeless, mental ill and we fail to help them…We fail Social Security when then economy keeps rising because the GREEDY demand more and more and more and you give Social Security a funky 10.00 raise a year, and expecting them to make it on less than 900.00 a month, Greed is destroying us, whens is enough a enough, how high is high until we realize when its too late , we should of ,could of, but didn’t, We Failed the people, we should of listen to them and not to all the idiots that couldn’t care less.
    In today’s world Kids are struggling to get jobs and especially single moms, its pathetic, a 16 year old goes to target and they want them to fill out a 54 page application, when a front and back app, all they can do is put down their name ,phone,address,social,and experience well i baby sat…..Psychological profiling at its stupidest, wanting them to give information about people in the house hold, This is got to stop and the DumbAzzez who come up with this and the ones who approve it…..
    Also your born and raised here, English is the first language, BUT yet you have to press 1 for English, REALLY?, why not by pass us and just say 1 for Spanish,2 for whatever….WHO the heck’s idea was this and who allowed this ?
    Ok….

    Back to Following Oregon’s passage, what are we waiting for , get er done…..Discrimination is against the LAW, Really ? Well that is a lie because people discriminate against housing,section 8, Hud Daily… STOP !!! Discrimination is discrimination how ever you look at it….

  11. Please like my facebook page I created for this We will not be moved.
    I to am a section8 participants my current home that I am renting has been sold and have been told numerous times by Realtors Property Management homeowners no they are not interested in Section 8 they will not accept Section 8 and none of their properties take it or participate in the section 8 program which is making it extremely hard for me and my family to find a home or even stay in the area it’s looking as though we may have to move out of state the crisis is throughout the whole state of California I would like everyone to share their opinion their stories if they have lost their voucher or job because of this something needs to be done and we need to be heard.. I have my own business and I’m a single parent of 3.. I don’t make 3 1/2 times of the rent to afford it without section 8… it is discrimination and it needs to stop. We are all background checked you cannot have any evictions.. it’s a shame that we who are trying our best to succeed are still being held down by status quo.