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Federal Ruling Opens Up Higher Income Neighborhoods To Low-Income Renters

by Countable | 1.4.18

What’s the story?

A federal judge has ruled that the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Agency must enforce a 2016 rule allowing low-income renters with Section 8 housing vouchers to rent in higher income neighborhoods. The administration has sought a two year delay in implementing the rule, according to the Washington Post.

Historically, the amount of a Section 8 voucher is based on the average rent for an entire municipality, making higher income neighborhoods with better schools, lower crime rates and better job opportunities out of reach for low-income renters. This contributes to economic and racial segregation, preventing low-income families from providing children with access to the kinds of resources that can lift them out of poverty as adults.

The new rule, which will affect 23 municipalities nationwide who were deemed to exhibit particularly concentrated poverty, went into effect as of January 1 based on the judge’s decision.

Housing authorities will now have to redistribute the value of Section 8 vouchers based on zip code. Higher income neighborhoods will receive higher valued vouchers, and lower income neighborhoods will receive lower valued vouchers.

Opponents of the rule fear it will lead to disinvestment in inner city neighborhoods, while supporters of the rule argue it will expand equal opportunity to all aspects of American life, and elevate, specifically, the lives of more than 200,000 families across the country.

Renters with Section 8 vouchers will still have to find landlords willing to accept the federal subsidies. Most municipalities do not prevent housing discrimination based on means of payment.

What do you think?

Do you support this rule change for the valuation of federal housing vouchers as a way to combat concentrated poverty and help families or do you think it will create unintended consequences either for low-income communities or the higher income communities families can now move to?

Tell us in the comments what you think, then use the Take Action button to tell your reps!

— Asha Sanaker

(Photo Credit: Wikimedia / Creative Commons )

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(28)
  • Donna
    01/04/2018
    ···

    Poverty is not and should not be viewed as a crime in any society, especially ours. To believe that 95% of people in this country living below the poverty line are doing so by choice is arrogant, misinformed, bigoted and judgemental. It is our obligation as humans to help our fellow man provide the basic necessities of life (home, food, education) for themselves and their families when they are unable. Even less-developed members of the animal kingdom understand that. Expanding this program to allow qualifying families break the cycle of poverty is a good start. We need to help insure they get that chance by lobbying municipalities to prevent landlords from discriminating against these vouchers so everyone actually has an equal chance. Society is always stronger when the members work together, not against one another.

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  • John
    01/04/2018
    ···

    Christopher, section 8 housing doesn’t mean criminals. It means poor & low income people. They are in need of a helping hand. Much as you benefit from society, they are entitled to those same benefits.

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  • Dara
    01/04/2018
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    I think Section8 and all low income housing should be in every neighborhood. I grow increasingly tired of the top 1% thinking they are immune from laws and social consequences.

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  • Christopher
    01/04/2018
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    You can’t make individuals better by giving them handouts. Placing them in “subsidized “ housing in affluent neighborhoods will just bring crime and force good people to move. This is stupid. Handouts should be so small that the people WANT to work to better their situation. Otherwise why work I can now get cheap housing in rich neighborhoods, free cell phones, free internet, free food, free medical AND the government pays me to make more babies ALL with no random drug testing!!

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  • Countryfirst
    01/04/2018
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    It is scary that in America the rich would feel threatened or entitled so as to keep low income people out of their neighborhood..they could stand to be around decent caring people..

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  • Azrael
    01/04/2018
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    I’m sure trump towers will offer up some apartments to help those less fortunate I see all the fake Christians are saying nimby

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  • Bluewitsend
    01/04/2018
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    I support free education and incentives for employer mentoring and job training . This would get people into programs for better paying jobs. I also support employer incentives and vouchers for good childcare. Only then people will be raised out of the poverty trap and move into better neighborhoods to have a higher standard of living. Everyone wins. It’s all about education and incentives and good childcare. These things would amount to a lasting solution.

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  • Danielle
    01/06/2018
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    I support this. No redlining. Poverty is not a crime.

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  • Judith
    02/06/2018
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    OPEN HIGH INCOME NEIGHBORHOODS TO LOW INCOME RENTERS !! STOP ECONOMIC SEGREGATION NOW !!! PREVENT LANDLORDS FROM DISCRIMINATING AGAINST THESE VOUCHERS !!!!!

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  • Jen
    01/05/2018
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    This is intriguing and seems like it could have a lot of good outcomes--better education and health, better opportunities for some semblance of class mobility and eventually attaining better jobs and quality of life. As long as we also work to improve inner cities and opportunities there, as well, and work to give people the tools to succeed, this could be a good supplement, a good start. But, we do have to do more than just open up housing. We have to invest in struggling people in lasting ways--not closing down schools in neighborhoods that need them most so that we can give the extra cash to richer schools. Providing decent grocery and retail stores in areas to decrease food deserts, etc. Affordable healthcare. Green spaces/parks. Accountable lawmakers using taxes for these kinds of things instead of to illegally decorate their offices and pay their hookers, 'scuse me, "mistresses"....

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  • Abbi
    01/04/2018
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    Good, low income families can be in better school districts, the kids get better educations and maybe able to break the cycle of poverty.

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  • Jim2423
    01/05/2018
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    We have learned the hard way that low income housing in high rise tenants doesn’t work for anyone. Allow low income housing in nicer areas, it is better for all of us.

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  • Bernie
    01/05/2018
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    I agree. Let’s start in Chappaqua, Martha’s Vineyard, Pacific Heights and Beverly Hills.

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  • Michael n angie
    01/16/2018
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    READ, WEEP, PRINT AND KEEP! This should be on the front page of every newspaper. Charley Reese's Final column! A very interesting column. COMPLETELY NEUTRAL. Be sure to Read the Poem at the end.. Charley Reese's final column for the Orlando Sentinel... He has been a journalist for 49 years. He is retiring and this is HIS LAST COLUMN. Be sure to read the Tax List at the end. This is about as clear and easy to understand as it can be. The article below is completely neutral, neither anti-republican or democrat. Charlie Reese, a retired reporter for the Orlando Sentinel, has hit the nail directly on the head, defining clearly who it is that in the final analysis must assume responsibility for the judgments made that impact each one of us every day. It's a short but good read. Worth the time. Worth remembering! 545 vs. 300,000,000 People -By Charlie Reese Politicians are the only people in the world who create problems and then campaign against them. Have you ever wondered, if both the Democrats and the Republicans are against deficits, WHY do we have deficits? Have you ever wondered, if all the politicians are against inflation and high taxes, WHY do we have inflation and high taxes? You and I don't propose a federal budget. The President does. You and I don't have the Constitutional authority to vote on appropriations. The House of Representatives does. You and I don't write the tax code, Congress does. You and I don't set fiscal policy, Congress does. You and I don't control monetary policy, the Federal Reserve Bank does. One hundred senators, 435 congressmen, one President, and nine Supreme Court justices equates to 545 human beings out of the 300 million are directly, legally, morally, and individually responsible for the domestic problems that plague this country. I excluded the members of the Federal Reserve Board because that problem was created by the Congress. In 1913, Congress delegated its Constitutional duty to provide a sound currency to a federally chartered, but private, central bank. I excluded all the special interests and lobbyists for a sound reason. They have no legal authority. They have no ability to coerce a senator, a congressman, or a President to do one cotton-picking thing. I don't care if they offer a politician $1 million dollars in cash. The politician has the power to accept or reject it. No matter what the lobbyist promises, it is the legislator's responsibility to determine how he votes. Those 545 human beings spend much of their energy convincing you that what they did is not their fault. They cooperate in this common con regardless of party. What separates a politician from a normal human being is an excessive amount of gall. No normal human being would have the gall of a Speaker, who stood up and criticized the President for creating deficits.. ( The President can only propose a budget. He cannot force the Congress to accept it.) The Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land, gives sole responsibility to the House of Representatives for originating and approving appropriations and taxes. Who is the speaker of the House?( John Boehner. He is the leader of the majority party. He and fellow House members, not the President, can approve any budget they want. ) If the President vetoes it, they can pass it over his veto if they agree to. [The House has passed a budget but the Senate has not approved a budget in over three years. The President's proposed budgets have gotten almost unanimous rejections in the Senate in that time. ] It seems inconceivable to me that a nation of 300 million cannot replace 545 people who stand convicted -- by present facts -- of incompetence and irresponsibility. I can't think of a single domestic problem that is not traceable directly to those 545 people. When you fully grasp the plain truth that 545 people exercise the power of the federal government, then it must follow that what exists is what they want to exist. If the tax code is unfair, it's because they want it unfair. If the budget is in the red, it's because they want it in the red. If the Army & Marines are in Iraq and Afghanistan it's because they want them in Iraq and Afghanistan .. If they do not receive social security but are on an elite retirement plan not available to the people, it's because they want it that way. There are no insoluble government problems. Do not let these 545 people shift the blame to bureaucrats, whom they hire and whose jobs they can abolish; to lobbyists, whose gifts and advice they can reject; to regulators, to whom they give the power to regulate and from whom they can take this power. Above all, do not let them con you into the belief that there exists disembodied mystical forces like "the economy," "inflation," or "politics" that prevent them from doing what they take an oath to do. Those 545 people, and they alone, are responsible. They, and they alone, have the power. They, and they alone, should be held accountable by the people who are their bosses. Provided the voters have the gumption to manage their own employees... We should vote all of them out of office and clean up their mess! Charlie Reese is a former columnist of the Orlando Sentinel Newspaper. What you do with this article now that you have read it... is up to you. This might be funny if it weren't so true. Be sure to read all the way to the end: Tax his land, Tax his bed, Tax the table, At which he's fed. Tax his tractor, Tax his mule, Teach him taxes Are the rule. Tax his work, Tax his pay, He works for peanuts anyway! Tax his cow, Tax his goat, Tax his pants, Tax his coat. Tax his ties, Tax his shirt, Tax his work, Tax his dirt. Tax his tobacco, Tax his drink, Tax him if he Tries to think. Tax his cigars, Tax his beers, If he cries Tax his tears. Tax his car, Tax his gas, Find other ways To tax his ass. Tax all he has Then let him know That you won't be done Till he has no dough. When he screams and hollers; Then tax him some more, Tax him till He's good and sore. Then tax his coffin, Tax his grave, Tax the sod in Which he's laid... Put these words Upon his tomb, 'Taxes drove me to my doom...' When he's gone, Do not relax, Its time to apply The inheritance tax. Accounts Receivable Tax Building Permit Tax CDL license Tax Cigarette Tax Corporate Income Tax Dog License Tax Excise Taxes Federal Income Tax Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA) Fishing License Tax Food License Tax Fuel Permit Tax Gasoline Tax (currently 44.75 cents per gallon) Gross Receipts Tax Hunting License Tax Inheritance Tax Inventory Tax IRS Interest Charges IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax) Liquor Tax Luxury Taxes Marriage License Tax Medicare Tax Personal Property Tax Property Tax Real Estate Tax Service Charge Tax Social Security Tax Road Usage Tax Recreational Vehicle Tax Sales Tax School Tax State Income Tax State Unemployment Tax (SUTA) Telephone Federal Excise Tax Telephone Federal Universal Service Fee Tax Telephone Federal, State and Local Surcharge Taxes Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Tax Telephone Recurring and Nonrecurring Charges Tax Telephone State and Local Tax Telephone Usage Charge Tax Utility Taxes Vehicle License Registration Tax Vehicle Sales Tax Watercraft Registration Tax Well Permit Tax Workers Compensation Tax STILL THINK THIS IS FUNNY? Not one of these taxes existed 100 years ago, & our nation was the most prosperous in the world. We had absolutely no national debt, had the largest middle class in the world, and Mom stayed home to raise the kids. What in the heck happened? Can you spell 'politicians?' I hope this goes around THE USA at least 545 times!!! YOU can help it get there!!! GO AHEAD. . . BE AN AMERICAN!!! SEND THIS TO EVERYONE YOU KNOW Like · · Share · 2 hours ago via mobile ·

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  • S
    01/05/2018
    ···

    “Disinvestment” in inner cities I think means stay where you belong—with the rest of the poor people. More diversity in a high income neighborhood would be a positive (one hopes so) for the neighborhood which can learn up close what poverty means and doesn’t mean.

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  • Shari
    01/05/2018
    ···

    There is no reason to prohibit section 8 renters from residing in higher income neighborhoods. They are not carrying disease as they are often treated as such. Minorities often are lower income earners due to corporate, educational and political efforts to keep them in lower classes.

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  • Linda
    01/05/2018
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    How would this end poverty? Better school systems= better education= better jobs. Which circles back to every person getting a quality education or job training no matter where they live. People with a good education and a good job do not understand the struggle to get out of the poverty cycle. And people are working hard just to survive, often more than one job. But that’s merely to pay rent, food, & clothes. Nothing extra. Where’s the path to success for these workers & their families is the challenge to end poverty.

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  • Cynthia
    01/07/2018
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    The affluent need not worry about poor people in their neighborhoods. The vouchers typically go toward apartments, not McMansions. In some places there is a ten year wait for a voucher. Many housing authorities have filled their waiting lists and are not taking me applications. This will allow more people to live in more areas. That's not a bad thing.

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  • Diane
    01/05/2018
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    In my city, all new low income apartments are in industrialized neighbourhoods far from services, stores or open spaces. The accommodation may be adequate, but don’t make for a good quality of life. Developers lobby like crazy to not provide units because economic returns are minimal. Segregation based on any metric is wrong. Vouchers should be across the board. Maybe develop high end properties in low income areas to see If the reverse would be acceptable. I don’t believe so. More upward mobility, child care, schools and services are needed. In the meantime, vouchers are necessary.

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  • I.Got.an.Idea...
    01/04/2018
    ···

    This sounds like progress. I can support this.

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