By Rachel Johnson
We got 99 problems in low income housing and access to low income housing is #1! Low income families can tell you better about the hardships of locating decent housing that is within their low wages earned or even the fixed incomes for the seniors, veterans, disabled and the retired.
You would think the payment standards would match the average low-income wages of tenant family households. Multifamily Project Based Section 8 and public housing units are rampant and stagnant with unsafe and unsanitary conditions, and tenants consider this the norm.
Becoming a Tenant Council or Resident Advisory Board controlled by Residents are supposed to be welcomed and sometimes comes with funding allocated by HUD but the powers that be are not quick to release of course, skeptical of their legitimacy, so they say. And when Tenants exercise their rights it is shameful to see the Housing Authorities and Owner Management agents use their power to resist when they deem necessary for whatever reasons(s) they see fit, unrighteous or not and it most times will result in the violation of the resident rights and end in loss of their housing.
To add some Residents are at fault sometimes but the opportunity to due process is taken away due to their inability to hear and communicate concerns for remedy purposes to prevent the need for representation on the matter in court.
HUD enforcement on Landlords to cure is always slow but Landlord evictions are quick with devastating consequences to families.
The cycle from being housed to displacement and homelessness renders to a budget that is wasted.
Low income housing tax credits (LIHTC) are intended to allow an increase of affordable housing but the low percentage of low-income families that reside on these tax credit properties screams advantageous developers whose higher percentages caters to the families of much higher incomes, not even close to the poverty levels.
Yea, there are LIHTC that make it to these families and are appreciated much but please notice the name, Low income housing tax credits, well is it not supposed to do more for the low- income people than it does for the so called low-income housing providers?
I’m just asking… New HUD Housing programs like Rental Assistance Demonstration aka RAD is privatizing public housing.
Approval for RAD starts with Public Housing Authorities’ submission of an application to HUD where it outlines a plan including financial commitments from investors as partners or creation of their own corporations to further manage these public housing properties that they neglected to maintain in safe, decent and sanitary conditions with no budget available to remedy in the first place. But have demonstrated they have a budget to buy more rental properties. Now, tell me, how this is not a conflict of interest?
And the HUD mandated RAD meetings hosted by the Directors of these Housing Authorities and their designated employee(s) that treats the HUD rules and regulations as their own to use as they please in their best interest mostly and may not provide tenant protections or presents unfair housing practices. And what is not understood is… it is said that tenants must ask questions, well if the RAD program is new, and each Housing Authority has its own model RAD plan and tenants are not provided details, how would they know what type of questions to ask or what answers should follow? Hmmmmm…
There is so much happening and we must identify the concerns of the people and they should have the first say about what they live each and every day. People living in public housing, participating in the Section 8 Voucher & multifamily subsidized Housing programs and all of HUD Housing just want to live in safe, decent and sanitary housing while on their journey to self-sufficiency and success.
And for all of the HUD Housing Tenants and Section 8 Voucher Tenants that feels indifferent to the previous statement well the likes of gentrification will definitely create more problems for you and your family, I am just keeping it real. We are all we got, and I mean all faces of this low income housing crisis and coming together to state facts, to listen and really hear about this existing housing crisis and other surrounding situations should only yield to our remedies that are thought-provoking and centered around meeting the goals of the people being housed first and increasing the economic wealth of the cities, counties and states last. People over profit!
Please allow me to introduce myself, I am a former resident of Multifamily and section 8 voucher participant, my passion is to help others in HUD Housing and Advocates of the trade and creator of the Faces of HUD Housing Unity Project. I am Rachel Johnson and IGotSomethin2Say! Independent Community Organizer