Housing, A Vicious Cycle
After she gets her G.E.D, she will start community college. She needs a place to live. Currently she stays between relatives, none who are supportive, some who are down right abusive and all demanding more gratitude and servitude than warranted by their amount of generosity. To manage school she must secure a roof over her head. So she signed up for housing, section 8. I knew a woman a few years ago who found a nice house on section 8 but only because the owner was willing to accept section 8. Apparently, many landlords will not accept it. I think because there is red tape involved in receiving the subsidy and they do not want to bother if they can get other renters. Also, a negative stereotype accompanies section 8 recipients and landlords are not willing to see if it is true or not. In addition, by law the rent must be reasonable which contradicts the motives of most landlords.
Many housing applicants must rely on projects, –a large apartment like (or town home like or other close proximity type dwellings) complex that is financed by section 8 and more readily available than a single unit house. I remember hearing/reading rhetoric a long time ago that the purpose of extending section 8 to individual landlords was so communities could be financially diverse. Low-income people could live among working and middle class people and perhaps the ideology of upward mobility would become contagious, a concept believed more difficult to spread in a project area because of its overwhelming depressive and impenetrable ghettoization. However, I would have to argue that there are benefits for the system, the status quo to keep the projects alive. Dunbar Village comes to mind. What a convenient place to store society’s downtrodden women, thus, sociopathic men can take those women hostage and rape them repeatedly and no one will intervene. Society’s outcast men have a pressure release and society (society outside of the projects) is safe. No harm done, it is just women.
Nevertheless, none of that is the reason I am writing about this. She told me something interesting that the housing office told her. She is among the next few who will be offered housing when a unit becomes available. Incidentally, if she is offered a unit she cannot physically move in until she has the utilities in her name, which requires a substantial down payment. If she is unable to get the utilities turned on in her name in a designated amount of time, she will fall to the bottom of the list again. After falling to the bottom of the list twice she will be removed and not be eligible to go on the list again for a few years. She asked what made the units available because she was assuming people got good jobs and were able to move out. Not the case. The housing office told her that the top reasons people are thrown out of the projects are, not being able to pay their rent (with her current income her rent will be around $23 a month), not being able to maintain the utilities, allowing others to live in the unit which is a violation of the lease agreement, and/or making too much money (which in many cases is actually not enough money to live on without housing subsidy). So when these people are kicked out of housing, where do they go? If the point to providing housing is to help someone get on his or her feet and the opposite is happening, then what is really happening? It is a vicious fucking cycle.