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Public housing programs
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Old 07-14-2017, 06:44 PM
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Default Public housing programs

I posted something about this in Off Topic over on CS, then realized I had a rant going that would be better suited here.

When we both lost our jobs and I had to give up my apartment and move back in with mom, we decided to apply for housing assistance (this was ~10 years ago). She applies as head of household with me as her daughter...and we wait. And wait, and wait. Finally we get a caseworker late last year.

Our caseworker just so happens to be a good friend of mom's, and she explained that--contrary to what we had been told originally--we never were eligible for Section 8 (assistance to stay where we are). That program has no waitlist as they are immediately doled out to, as she put it "addicts and 15-year-old mothers who can't or won't pull their own weight".

Mom now finds out that whoever was handling the waitlist calls forgot we had applied as a family. As she said after finding out that the apartment they found was only for me "Do they do this to other families? What about families with little kids that can't be split up?" (I suspect someone saw the application and figured 'oh her daughter is an adult, she can live on her own') Caseworker was NOT impressed about the 'family with one elderly and one disabled, don't split them up' thing being ignored.

I now feel that requirements for Section 8 should be similar to unemployment; monthly verification of income and ability to pay what that doesn't cover. Seems like people who don't want to make an effort to actually get out of their situation get everything handed to them, yet struggling decent people like us who are pulling our weight to the extent we can get "sorry, you have to stay in the apartment you can't afford". All we were asking for was a little bit of help to make up a shortfall.
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Old 07-15-2017, 02:46 PM
s_stabeler s_stabeler is offline
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it's...complicated, and not helped by the fact that they're a frequent target for "reforms" that are designed primarily to make it harder to get assistance.

Basically, what it comes down to is that people that just need a little bit of assistance tend to be the kind of person who doesn't look- on first appearance- to need assistance. (still having items often considered luxuries, for example) while those that can't be bothered understandably are often in far worse situations. As such, it LOOKS on first glance like the one who really needs just a little bit of help is being lazy, when it's the other way around.
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Old 07-15-2017, 11:38 PM
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D_Yeti_Esquire D_Yeti_Esquire is offline
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I'm sorry but "caseworker who happens to be friends with Mom" sounds really dubious.

Especially when Sec8 Housing vouchers require a person to not have been convicted of a drug offense in the last 3 years. This person sounds bitter, put out, and maybe wants to give you a scapegoat other than, "you didn't qualify."

I've had to sit in front of someone and tell them, despite their lives being in shambles that they've been denied and it sucks (this was a short temp job for a State program). But the reality is, means testing (which often gets used in programs) often tends to kick out anyone who (to put it bluntly) have any advantages whatsoever. So who you generally see get funds are damn close to destitute. If you are misfortunate(?) enough to be coming from a less than dire situation, you will often be passed over.

Do addicts probably get assistance? Yes. But their lives are also probably demonstrably f'd at that point which works in their favor and lacking a drug test, you can't screen them out.
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Old 07-17-2017, 09:51 PM
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The thing that's most annoying is that we were misled on the original application. Since there were no Sec8 vouchers available (we were not advised of this--although we did ask specifically about applying for Sec8--and just told "you'll be put on the waitlist") our application was likely misplaced/ignored until something kicked it up the chain.

We'd probably have been in a cheaper place far sooner if we had been given the correct application to begin with.
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Old 07-25-2017, 02:33 AM
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I once tried to get that back home in NOLA -- I was informed that applications had been "temporarily closed" for several years at that point, but that I could apply for a chance to get put on a waiting list (18-month wait just for that) which, if I made it onto there, would allow me to get on the *actual* waiting list to apply for Sec8 whenever it actually re-opened. o_O
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Old 08-21-2017, 01:32 PM
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I love it... the Air Force can spend 400 billion dollars on what every expert says is a failed plane (F-35), but we can't find money to help people down on their luck.
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Old 08-24-2017, 03:46 AM
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I feel for you, Dreamstalker; I went looking for some help for myself. I am 62. Once I am 65 there will be all kinds of help available. Prior to that, the ONLY help available for low-income seniors is ... if you can believe it ... if I am the spouse (including common-law) of somebody who IS 65 and receiving the benefits available to those of that age or older. I should add that I have been looking for fulltime work for two years now.

There is absolutely zippo for anybody in my situation: single and not yet 65.

Oh wait ... I can apply for my Canada Pension Plan early. It means I will get a reduced monthly amount (and I don't know by how much because I haven't looked into it), which will not go up once I do hit 65. However, I've been told that if you are receiving CPP and you are still working, you will in fact receive a higher monthly amount, because of course you're also still paying into it. I was hoping to wait until I hit 65 to collect my pension, but that might not be an option, the way things are going.

I hope things get straightened around for you and your mom, Dreamstalker.
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Old 08-30-2017, 11:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamstalker View Post
Seems like people who don't want to make an effort to actually get out of their situation get everything handed to them, yet struggling decent people like us who are pulling our weight to the extent we can get "sorry, you have to stay in the apartment you can't afford". All we were asking for was a little bit of help to make up a shortfall.
Not in my state. In my state the only assistance you can get if you're a single adult that's not disabled is food stamps. That's it. You get no housing assistance no cash assistance no help of any kind. And the food stamps are now capped at a level where you better visit a few food banks during the month to make up the difference because even to eat only semi healthy is about 240 a month and the cap is 192 a month.

I live in an area right now where work is really hard to come by. And I meant that I am applying for jobs up to office jobs and down to migrant farmer.

I had to move elsewhere to find work for the last six months but my living situation fell apart (roommates couldn't pay their share) and I had to move back here to stay with my folks.

I wish it was easier to get help. If it weren't for my folks I would be homeless.
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Old 08-30-2017, 08:21 PM
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We check two of the boxes for "guaranteed" housing assistance; mom just turned 65 and I'm technically disabled (the disability alone should have put us higher up on the list from the start; I have no idea why they separated our cases to begin with).

The good news with that is it's not that easy for management to evict us if they decide we haven't been paying enough fast enough--we do scratch together the rent by the end of the month, but not in a lump sum and occasionally they'll send a Notice To Quit over a $500 balance mid-month. In this state, evictions can't even start unless a tenant is 90 days with no payments at all. They've sent a constable with a notice if we're a few days late (say we're fully paid up by the 1st of one month, if we don't pay something on next month by the 8th a note shows up). The AG has said repeatedly that they can't do that.
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