Go HERE to read the full article by Aaron Wiener of the Washington City Paper.
"The new rules also allow the Housing Authority to circumvent the typical process for eviction in the District, which has some of the most tenant-friendly laws in the country. Generally, if a tenant is not living up to his end of the lease, the landlord must give 30-day notice before filing suit to evict. Then it’s often another month before the case actually goes to court, at which point the tenant can request a jury trial. The full process can drag on for as long as a year.
The Housing Authority will be able to move more expeditiously. Thirty-day notice is still required, but after that, the Housing Authority can terminate a tenant’s participation in the voucher program immediately if he or she does not request a hearing; if the tenant does, the process can wrap up as quickly as a month later. Even some housing advocates agree that the Housing Authority should have more latitude than the average landlord to expel unruly tenants, since taxpayers are subsidizing their rent. The question is whether the new rules go too far in allowing termination for minor arrests.
The altered, speedier process for kicking out voucher participants can be a boon to a landlord trying to evict a problem tenant; while the landlord still has to take the case to court, it’s an easier case to make after the Housing Authority has already deemed the tenant deficient and cut off his subsidy. It can also be a blessing for families on the waiting list who are able to move into units formerly occupied by now-evicted bad actors."
I think this is a great idea and long overdue! Everyone has to be held accountable and the same laws that apply to me apply to someone in the Housing Voucher Choice program! I am glad that the Housing Authority is proposing some new changes and procedures to get nuisance subsidy holders out of the system!!! This tomfoolery has to stop! And for housing advocates who think it is "unfair" to "penalize" voucher holders for doing stuff they shouldn't be doing already -- like selling, dealing, and using drugs please take a seat and stop making children out of grown adults. This right here is why most people in my neighbohrood would rather burn down a proposed subsidized housing complex rather than see it built, because they know from first hand experience how powerless the entire neighborhood will be if there are problems. It seems like everyone has an advocate but the people in the community who are doing what they are supposed to do. The frustration is real and for a reason.
Below you can find the comment I left this morning on the article this morning. I am tired of foolishness and I am tired of people not speaking up when it is foolishness.
"Hurray! I am glad the Housing Authority is finally taking steps to hold people accountable. We had a terror Section 8 family in our neighborhood a few years ago that was using their subsidy to turn their home into a high traffic drug house. There has been at least 4 shootings, countless robberies, drug traffic day and night, and the children in the home were left to roam the streets until the middle of the night. It took over TWO YEARS for the Housing Authority red tape to finally be processed for the landlord to be able to evict them and in the end they didn't lose the subsidy -- the just moved because they got aggravated with the neighbor's keep calling the police on them. There were community meetings, appeals to the police, appeals to our councilmember, and any one who could listen and the rules at that time were too heavy in favor of the Section 8 holder. We currently have about another 1/2 dozen Section 8 homes in my immediate neighborhood that are nothing more than subsidized houses for crime. Between the drug dealing, the fighting, the loitering, the littering, and the stealing it seems unlikely anyone in the house really is looking for a job. The "hanging out" has turned into a full-time job. I'm not saying every single voucher holder is like that but there is a reason why most people east of the river are frustrated with the over-saturation of subsidized housing in the neighborhood -- Housing Authority is slow to react when there is a problem. And so housing advocates can feel good about themselves (and go back to live in their "nice" neighborhood at night), an entire EotR building or neighborhood has to be terrorized for YEARS if a situation goes bad.
BTW -- If I am arrested for a misdemeanor drug charge (convicted or not) I am likely to lose my job (as would a lot of people). If I just tested positive for drugs I would lose my job. I don't understand why we are playing by two sets of rules. Voucher holders or not there are rules and laws and if your housing is being subsidized by tax dollars you should understand you have to follow the rules more closely than most. It's called a paycheck for a reason, it's "pay" to "keep you in check." Working people would like to do a lot of things, some stuff as simple as wearing jeans to work, other's more serious like doing drugs but you know there are consequences -- like losing your source of income.
I understand that these advocates hearts may be in the right place but as a Black person, living in a Black community, with crime and drug issues, and generational poverty I think that "advocates" and social service providers are sometimes doing more harm than good in keeping poor families unprepared for the real world. Lord knows I think sometimes they have just about killed the entrepreneurial spirit most folks. In this world and job market people are expected to be accountable and responsible and may have to do something they don't like (like refrain from buying and/or selling drugs) in order to get something in exchange --- like a job or a housing voucher. And at the risk of sounding crazy, illegal or not, if someone has money to buy drugs my next question is "why are they receiving or living in a house subsidized with tax dollars in the first place?!!!"
I say again the money is in the treatment, not the cure.
BTW as I write this comment (and get ready to go to work) I am watching the people in the Section 8 house across the alley from mine smoke weed with the blinds wide open (as they do almost every day) -- and it is not even 9am yet.
Illegal or not that gets on my damn nerves."
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