If local “progressives” aren’t holding City Hall’s feet to the fire about Housing Choice vouchers, are they really progressive?
We’ll be reinforcing this point again and again as the 2019 primary draws closer, because at a time when the federal housing voucher program is only minimally effective, our Mayor Jeff Gahan, David Duggins and their hand-chosen takeover administrators at the New Albany Housing Authority continue to insist their plan to half-size public housing in our city is viable because those slated for displacement will be handed vouchers.
The real-world evidence differs rather dramatically from bunker dogma.
With Market Hot, Landlords Slam the Door on Section 8 Tenants, by Glenn Thrush (New York Times)
… For most of its existence, the main shortcoming of the Section 8 program, created in 1974 as an alternative to ghettoizing public housing projects, was its inability to keep up with demand. But the recent economic boom in Philadelphia, long one of the most affordable big cities in the Washington-to-Boston corridor, has led to rent increases even in poor and working-class neighborhoods, and many landlords are now refusing to accept the vouchers when they can get higher rents, without the bureaucratic red tape that plagues the program, on the open market.
A survey by the nonpartisan Urban Institute, commissioned by the Department of Housing and Urban Development and released in August, documented the problem in stark terms. It found that 67 percent of Philadelphia’s landlords refused to even consider voucher holders, some candidly citing the low subsidies and their desire to cash in on a hot market. The rejection rates were even higher in Fort Worth and Los Angeles, where three-quarters of landlords turned away Section 8 tenants.
Put at risk by these market forces is the future of a core federal housing program that now serves 2.2 million low-income families and was started with a simple goal: to enable those families to escape neighborhoods increasingly segregated along racial and economic lines for a place with decent housing and better schools, stores and transportation …