Stealing From The Poor, The Section 8 Scandal
The Bush Administration Is Stealing Billions In Assets Used By The Poor To Cover Their Housing Needs!
Stealing From The Poor, The Section 8 Scandal
By Lynda Carson July 10, 2004
The sanctomonius pimps for the Bush administration have been making the rounds lately trying to counter the recent news stories showing up from here to hell that have exposed the plight of the nearly 2 million Section 8 renters that are now being threatened with homelessness because of the recent actions of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) officials.
According to a June 29th, Times-Union News story, it reports that more than $22 billion dollars in federal money is being diverted to "homeland security" with $2 billion of that amount coming from HUD's much needed budget that in part provides funding for the nation's homeless shelters and the poorest of renters in America.
This means that some dark forces have quietly moved to steal $2 billion in assets granted by congress to assist the poor and shift those assets to the Police State apparatus known as Homeland Security, making this the largest raid on a public program used by the poor during the past twenty years! From 2002 through 2003, the Homeland Security budget nearly doubled in size, and the budget quickly rose from $19.5 billion to $37 billion on the heels of Bush's 2001 $1.35 trillion tax cut for the rich, which now puts the squeeze on already tight budgets needed by the poor and working class which are quickly being siphoned dry by the Bush Regime.
Homeland Security indeed! I already had visions of Nazi's when I first heard the term Homeland Security mentioned to me, and during a recent 2 day trip in June to Annaheim to an AFSCME Convention, as I was trying to fly back from the John Wayne International Airport, Homeland Security stopped me four times in the airport to check my boarding pass and ID just to make sure that I was not a terrorist. For a chilling peek at the current Police State America, check out Harpers Magazine's frightening insight look at Homeland Security related events at; http://www.harpers.org/HomelandSecurity.html.
The Bush administration's henchmen have been scrambling to counter the bad press reports that are telling the stories of the blind and disabled from around the country that suddenly find that their housing vouchers no longer cover part of their rent expenses and that they now face homelessness and immediate expulsion from their housing as a result.
In the face of all the negative publicity hitting him from around the nation, as recently as June 16th, HUD's newest Secretary, Alphonso Jackson, has jumped right into the spotlight by doing an interview for the National Press Club. When HUD's Secretary Jackson was asked if the nation can expect any relief to assist those that now face eviction because of his recent April 22 changes to the guidelines that have redirected the funding away from the Section 8 program, the following exchange took place;
"Q News reports from around the country have recently surfaced revealing that families are now receiving eviction notices or facing rent increases. Does the department have plans to allay this crisis?
SEC. JACKSON: Well, let me say this because that's another myth, and I like to debunk these myths. Nobody is facing evictions."
Thats right, no body is facing eviction according to the Secretary of HUD, Alphonso Jackson, and we are all to believe that the stories going on around us are all merely a myth of our own imagination.
As recent as May 20, 2004, HUD's Secretary Jackson was thoroughly roasted by the progressive movement when he stated that he believed that, "being poor is a state of mind, not a condition," while he was being grilled by a Congressional Finance Commitee about the funding shortfalls that have savaged the Section 8 program.
Others have recently called HUD's Secretary Alphonso Jackson an outright thug for his poor behavior that was reported on during an October 2003 visit to a HUD field office in Los Angeles, where Jackson allegedly threatened physical violence against some HUD union members. It's reported that Jackson allegedly told over 100 employees present at the meeting, "When I was a child, it took my father three whuppings to get the message through to me. And that's what I am prepared to do if I hear of any more problems from this field office."
After a number of complaints were filed against Jackson, the Federal Labor Relations Authority ordered Jackson to post a written apology in the Los Angeles field office where the incident allegedly occurred, and as a followup statement stemming from the incident, NFFE (union) president Richard Brown said, "We are going to make sure that everyone knows how this man has behaved, and demonstrate that he is unfit to be the secretary of HUD."
By now, many of you may have heard the outcry of the poor, elderly and disabled speaking-out as the dark forces of the White House plunder the Section 8 program which was originally created back in 1975 to offer market based housing assistance to the weakest and the poorest of the poor, in America. Until recently, it has served nearly 2 million families around the country.
The Section 8 program has had it's critics and shortcoming's through the years, but over all has been a very successful program to assist the sick, elderly, disabled and poorest of the poor to keep a roof over their head for the last 30 years.
It barely took a few weeks in office for the latest HUD Secretary, Alphonso Jackson, to completely sabotage the Section 8 program, and local housing agencies, landlords and tenants across the nation have become victims of Jackson's sadistic policies.
Being a barometer of what is likely to happen across the nation, as an example, Massachusetts would have been forced to rescind vouchers from 3,700 families because HUD's new policy created a $3.1 million gap in Section 8 funding. As many and more than 2,000 angry people showed up at the Massachusetts State House on April 16, 2004 for a hearing to determine how to deal with the funding crisis that was intentionally created by HUD.
The recent outcry of the poor and the mom and pop landlords affected by the Section 8 crisis foreshadows the impending catastrophy already looming in the near distant future, in which the Bush vision plans to steal another $4.6 billion from the HUD funded Section 8 program, leaving a total of 800,000 more voucher holders without the needed funding to assist the families already using them throughout fiscal year 2005 to fiscal year 2009.
As is, the April 22 HUD announcement that changed the guidelines on how the Section 8 voucher program is being funded, has already created hundreds of millions of dollars in funding shortfalls across the nation, resulting in according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, nearly 90,000 families with vouchers in fiscal year 2004 that are quickly being terminated by local housing authorities across the nation. Alameda Ca, is just one example of whats happening across the country.
During a July 9th interview with Alameda's Public Housing Agency Director, Michael Pucci, he said, "In the last 20 years, this has been the worst disaster of my career taking place recently. I had to serve notice to over 1,600 renters lately, and tell them that we may not have been able to pay their rents for the month of June. HUD has not been responding to our plea's for more assistance, theres people calling to ask if their vouchers are being funded next month and I don't know what to tell them, and then theres been protests going on in the streets of Alameda, at City Hall and in front of my home. If not for the help of my staff, I may not have been able to face this crisis situation on my own."
"The Alameda Housing Authority has faced a 6% loss in administration fees to run the Section 8 program since mid May, and that does not include the voucher funding shortfalls that also took place since late April," Pucci say's. "I'm really stressed out by whats been happening, and HUD has already postponed several meetings I set up with them to find out whats going on. This has never occurred before, and I'm very concerned. I would not wish to ever relive what I have been going through lately, and if we do not get new funding to hand out new vouchers to the 108 families caught up into this mess they will be at risk of becoming homeless and crime and will see their quality of life disappear very rapidly."
As recent as early June, Alameda had around 1,625 families in their Section 8 program, and by July 9, 2004 there were only 1,502 left in the program after 108 vouchers were recently terminated due to the results of the funding shortfalls, and after numerous families have voluntarily walked away from the program. At least 108 families lost their vouchers permenantly in Alameda because they recently accepted money from a different funding source to pay their rents for the month of July from a program that does not allow the money to be used for paying rents for families in the Section 8 program. The 108 families now need new vouchers since theirs was just terminated in the deal to pay July's rent.
Shortly before May 20th, 2004, angry Los Angeles officials joined a crowd of protesters in denouncing and protesting recent proposals to change the federal government's Section 8 housing program, which they said could result in at least 13,000 low-income Los Angeles families being displaced from their housing in the very near future.
On May 14, 2004, the Dallas Housing Authority posted a notice on it's website that states it has closed the application list for Section 8 Vouchers, and that they regret that they need to terminate nearly 500 vouchers by years end of fiscal year 2004 to balance their books.
An April 27 story in the Boston Globe, reports that 650 eviction notices were sent to Section 8 tenants due to the HUD created crisis, and of the 650 letters sent out, about 384 of the notices went to residents of the Greater Boston area. It's also been reported that more than 60 percent of the notices went to people saddled with disabilities, according to local housing officials from that region.
The crying voice of thousands breathing deep in fear as the sudden realization hits home that the Section 8 program has intentionally been sabotaged by the Bush administration, can now be heard across the nation from one broadcast network to another.
This is no laughing matter to the aids patients that came out recently by the hundreds in Salt Lake City to protest the funding shortfalls taking place that now threaten to leave them without a roof over their heads along the foothills of the Rocky Mountains.
Nor is it a mere inconvenience to the more than 400 families in Tacoma, Washington that are also on the verge of losing their housing vouchers since the program has been sabotaged. These are real families feeling as though their lives have been shredded and that they are soon to be flushed done the toilet of no return.
Who can ignore the plight of 90,000 families across the country that are suddenly facing the threat of homelessness, while as many as 20% of them that may be blind, disabled or elderly are wondering what to do now that they suddenly find themselves faced with the cold hearted realities of losing their much needed and beloved housing, and they have no where to go.
As recent as June 3, a Los Angeles Times story places the figure much closer to about 100,000 low-income families that are now at risk of losing vouchers or suffering rent increases because of the new HUD formula for deciding how much local housing authorities are reimbursed for the voucher program, according to a new analysis by the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials.
One can only guess as to which dark corner of the White House the decision was made to dump several hundred thousand victims out their housing between now and the end of fiscal year 2005, in the name of helping out the poor.
Thats right. The Bush administration is claiming that their policies of taking billions of dollars of funding that is meant to assist the housing needs of the poor, is actually going to be beneficial to them because they will also streamline the regulations keeping the poor from using more than 40% of their income to pay the rents. According to HUD's Deputy Secretary Michael Liu, he said, "the present regulations keep the poor from seeking higher paying jobs and by allowing them to pay more than 40% of their income for rent the new regulations offer an incentive to motivate the poor into finding higher paying jobs.'
Thats kind of like telling the sick and dying that if we take their medical insurance from them thats needed to cover their medical bills, that this would all work out to their advantage because it gives them more incentive to find a bigger source of revenue to pay more of their medical bills now that they are about to lose their source of funding.
One can only imagine the well oiled machinery thats in place to make sure that the Republican Party line directs them all to sing in a chorus of illogical lies, proclaiming that less is always better, when it comes to the needs of the poor.
Try selling that line of crap to the millions of oppressed households that face never ending higher rent increases and ever decreasing wages and benefit packages, and you just may want to change your name to Alphonso Jackson, in honor of the latest Secretary of HUD.
You may have seen one of Jackson's victims lately all over your TV set. A blind-man of Alameda, who by no fault of his own is about to lose his residence by July's end, as the all seeing eye camera of a Channel 2 news crew moves in quickly for the glimmer of a close-up to capture his shocked expressive facial features on celluloid and bring it home to you, LIVE, in your living room as a featured product of the 10 o'clock evening news. "Oh, Charlie, what in the world is going happen to you," exclaimed the concerned reporter as she listens intently to Charlies vivid tale of housing woes that are breathing down his neck lately.
Once again, the boundaries of sacred ground are being shattered in the name of helping out the poor, by a campaign of lies and deceit being woven by the conmen that have stolen their way into the White House after the Gang of Bush rigged the last presidential election and has since dragged this nation into the unholy sacrifices of endless war, destituition and madness.
As for the fate of the Alameda 108 Section 8 families who have lost their housing vouchers, some of them may be found at the next Section 8 Update Meeting being held at 7:35pm; on Tuesday July 20 in Room 390 at the Alameda City Hall; 2236 Santa Clara, in Alameda. Feel free to stop by with a protest sign in support of all the victims.
Lynda Carson may be reached at; firstname.lastname@example.org or 510/763-1085
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