Skip to comments.A Man's Home Is His Subsidy
Posted on 01/09/2013 12:13:33 AM PST by Kaslin
The Obama administration now proposes to spend millions more on handouts, despite ample evidence of their perverse effects.
Shaun Donovan, secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, says, "The single most important thing HUD does is provide rental assistance to America's most vulnerable families -- and the Obama administration is proposing bold steps to meet their needs." They always propose "bold steps."
In this case, HUD wants to spend millions more to renew Section 8 housing vouchers that help poor people pay rent.
The Section 8 program ballooned during the '90s to "solve" a previous government failure: crime-ridden public housing. Rent vouchers allow the feds to disperse tenants from failed projects into private residencies. There, poor people would learn good habits from middle-class people.
It was a reasonable idea. But, as always, there were unintended consequences.
"On paper, Section 8 seems like it should be successful," says Donald Gobin, a Section 8 landlord in New Hampshire. "But unless tenants have some unusual fire in their belly, the program hinders upward mobility."
Gobin complains that his tenants are allowed to use Section 8 subsides for an unlimited amount of time. There is no work requirement. Recipients can become comfortably dependent on government assistance.
In Gobin's over 30 years of renting to Section 8 tenants, he has seen only one break free of the program. Most recipients stay on Section 8 their entire lives. They use it as a permanent crutch.
Government's rules kill the incentive to succeed.
Section 8 handouts are meant to be generous enough that tenants may afford a home defined by HUD as decent, safe and sanitary. In its wisdom, the bureaucracy has ruled that "decent, safe and sanitary" may require subsidies as high as $2,200 per month. But because of that, Section 8 tenants often get to live in nicer places than those who pay their own way.
Kevin Spaulding is an MIT graduate in Boston who works long hours as an engineer, and struggles to cover his rent and student loans. Yet all around him, he says, he sees people who don't work but live better than he does.
"It doesn't seem right," he says. "I work very hard but can only afford a lower-end apartment. There are nonworking people on my street who live in better places than I do because they are on Section 8."
Spaulding understands why his neighbors don't look for jobs. The subsidies are attractive -- they cover 70 to 100 percent of rent and utilities. If Section 8 recipients accumulate money or start to make more, they lose their subsidy.
"Is there a real incentive for the tenants to go to work? No!" says Gobin. "They have a relatively nice house and do not have to pay for it."
Once people are reliant on Section 8 assistance, many do everything in their power to keep it. Some game the system by working under the table so that they do not lose the subsidy. One of Gobin's lifetime Section 8 tenants started a cooking website. She made considerable money from it, so she went to great lengths to hide the site from her case manager, running it under a different name.
"Here's a lady that could definitely work. She actually showed me how to get benefits and play the system," says Gobin.
Although Section 8 adds to our debt while encouraging people to stay dependent, it isn't going away. HUD says it will continue to "make quality housing possible for every American."
Despite $20 billion spent on the program last year, demand for more rental assistance remains strong. There is a long waitlist to receive Section 8 housing in every state. In New York City alone, 120,000 families wait.
Some are truly needy, but many recipients of income transfers are far from poor.
America will soon be $17 trillion in debt, and our biggest federal expense is income transfers. They are justified on the grounds that some of that helps the needy. But we don't help the needy by encouraging dependency.
Government grows. Dependency grows.
Smart move, HUD....take the dregs and criminals from the former public housing enclaves where police coverage could be concentrated and spread them wholesale over the outer suburbs. The real joke is that "learning good-habits from middle-class people!"
Section 8 is used to DILUTE the voting strength of key districts, or just plain revenge. They (HUD) massively increased Section 8 housing introduction in East Cobb County Georgia, Newt Gingrich's old district. I suspect if one were to comprehensively investigate the geographical dispersion of these lowlifes and overlay it with Congressional Districts, you'd be surprised and what you see.
Section 8 vouchers do nothing but pollute good neighborhoods, schools and commerce, largely resulting in increased crime, drugs and corruption of the young.
There was a saying, which I’ll paraphrase: We’ve run out of other people’s money. If tomorrow we shut down operations in Afghanistan, pull back every service member and discharge them; if we closed every tax loophole that exists and raised taxes on the supposed wealthy up to a maximum of 100%, we’d still not have enough tax ‘income’ to support all the social outpouring from the federal government.
We can’t even manage to assist those hurt in a major natural disaster without embezzling money for friends in what is colloquially known as pork.
The founders of this nation never made provisions for the federal government to provide housing; why should they? How would that make the slightest bit of sense for someone sitting in Washington to decide where or how someone lived? To erase the confusion that some had, they even went back and wrote an amendment spelling it out clearly: What powers are not outlined to the federal government are reserved for the states and the people.
That’s a powerful limitation: Whatever rights weren’t given to the government, and indeed, those are few, were reserved - forbidden to the federal government and empowered to the people and their states. They spelled out the natural rights of people - the freedom of speech, the freedom of religion, the freedom of the press, and empowered the people to keep those rights from their government through the force of arms.
There are many problems in the world; there are many disasters, personal and collective. None of these problems will ever be solved via a printing press. And really, in the end, that’s what we, as a nation, are attempting to do: To solve problems by using a printing press.
Teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime. Instead, we print money, hand it to the fish monger, and bemoan how many more problems there are to solve..
The so called poor are living high on the hog, and the working are living with less and paying for it all. The system is dysfunctional and unsustainable.
The founders of this nation never made provisions for the federal government to provide housing; why should they?
There is no "Constitutional provision" for either group.
Multi-Billion $$$$ payoff to Obama’s people.
Interest payments on the debt is the ticking time bomb.
For the above board debt of 16 trillion, it is about 250 billion a year. That is with very low interest rates. If interest rates rise, there will be big trouble.
That’s as much as the combined health and human services, vet affairs, HUD, and education budgets combined.
Double the interest rate to normal historic averages, and something has to give. You can’t borrow from sources you will be already unable to pay.
Actually, the Obama Government has found at least a partial way around this. It involves a conspiracy between the Federal Reserve, the US Treasury and the Bureau of Printing and Engraving. Years ago, Treasury Bills were auctioned off once or twice per year. Under Obama, these continued, but frequency increased, almost to a monthly basis. Who's buying them all? Remember, sales of these T-Bills and bonds are what's financing the debt, and making it all "legal." How does the issuer get paid? From scrip money the government prints up. The whole process is a scam, supposedly legalizing debt that the US incurs by something represented to have value. My guess is Obama's Trillion Dollar Coin will be used to back $1Trillion in new T-bill debt....
The so called poor are living high on the hog,....ALWAYS make the point “There are NO poor in the US. Just the economically stupid.”
They are truly rich, compared to the real poor in other countries
If he's taking the mortgage interest deduction, yes, it is.
I have a friend in the car repair business.
He buys old houses, and fixes them up just enough to pass whatever inspections the Section 8 folks set, then he rents them section 8.
Supposedly the tenants pay a portion of their rent.
My friend says that he doesn’t really care whether or not the tenants pay their share, although if they do that is a bonus. He makes enough off the Government to pay the house note,and when the note is paid off the property is his free and clear, and didn’t cost him a penny. He has a lot of properties, so it must be working.
That’s, from the title, what I thought the article was about.
Around here? Not a chance.
FReepers do love their mortgage subsidies.