- See more at: http://blogtimenow.com/blogging/automatically-redirect-blogger-blog-another-blog-website/#sthash.Q6qPkwFC.dpuf Scary Thought for Section 8 Voucher Holders | Bronx News Networkbronx

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Scary Thought for Section 8 Voucher Holders

It took years and years for new Section 8 vouchers to be issued in New York City, but many of the new 22,000 voucher holders are having a hard time finding an apartment in the hot rental market (2005 data showed the Bronx rental vacancy rate at a citywide low of 2.6%, and most vouchers are concentrated in the west Bronx - see the map). According to an article in the Times today, landlords posting availability of apartments often include the restriction, "No Section 8 or other programs."

Activists and organizers featured in the article claim the anti-voucher discrimination could be a mask for racial or class discrimination, while landlord groups claim the reason is the program’s "payment delays and other administrative problems." They are both right - the program has administrative problems, but not taking the vouchers is an easy and legal way to discriminate.

Part of the problem is that so many new vouchers were released at once into a tight rental market. Landlords in gentrifying neighborhoods won't take the vouchers since it won't maximize their rent increase strategies. In the neighborhoods of the west Bronx, rents are among the lowest in the City, leading to an extremely small number of vacant units. So while owners here generally accept the vouchers, there just aren't enough units to go around for all of the new voucher holders.

Councilman Bill de Blasio has introduced a bill to prohibit this type of discrimination - and laws like these exist in many other large cities and New Jersey. This could be a good idea if it's accompanied by changes made to the administrative side of the program improving the process for the landlords involved.

The worst part of the whole deal is that if a voucher holder can't find an apartment, the voucher is terminated; about 1,400 have been terminated so far this year. In this market of shrinking affordability, such losses make the situation even more dire.


  1. The Bronx landlords should realize that having Section 8 tenants is not necessarily a bad thing. If you properly screen the tenant by going to their current residence to see how they maintain their apartment and find that they live in a clean fashion it is a good business move to take on such a renter. Your check will arrive exactly on time on a monthly basis for years to come.

    Jason Strick

  2. I'd rather burn my money than have Section 8 tenants waste it by destroying my buildings. At least I'd get the benefit of some heat.


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