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Sec 8 - limit time in program?

Please limit discussion in this area to local and state politics.

Should there be a 7-10 year time limit for a household to stay on Section 8?

No, a household's need doesn't expire, neither should its voucher
15
65%
Yes, need to spread the vouchers and avoid dependency
8
35%
 
Total votes : 23

Postby Andy Olsen » Mon Sep 25, 2006 11:49 am

I'd be more welcoming of this conversation if time limits were also applied to fat cat subsidies, tax breaks, what have you. Oh, no, it's only the poor.

Or, if we got unemployment below 4% and turned around the decades-long decline in wages. Missing that, fuggedaboutit.
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Postby Stu Levitan » Mon Sep 25, 2006 12:57 pm

Greg Markle wrote:
Stu Levitan wrote:
The answer is that the CDA has neither the staff nor expertise to provide such services to Sec 8 recipients. We do provide some services to public housing tenants, under various contracts.

In answer to a prior question, latest data shows that approximately 52% of Sec 8 households are classified as disabled, meaning at least one person has physical disability or mental illness. Sort of puts that whole mandatory thing in an interesting light, eh?


Is that local data or from a national survey?


Local data.
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Postby burstingsun » Mon Sep 25, 2006 1:44 pm

Stu Levitan wrote:In answer to a prior question, latest data shows that approximately 52% of Sec 8 households are classified as disabled, meaning at least one person has physical disability or mental illness. Sort of puts that whole mandatory thing in an interesting light, eh?

You lost me there, Stuart. What does the fact that 52% of households receiving Section fall under the disability classification have to do with the "whole mandatory thing"?

And another question: Do those who have a disability and also are head of household for a family that qualifies for a family voucher get classified as family or disabled?
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Postby Brenda Konkel » Mon Sep 25, 2006 3:46 pm

burstingsun wrote:
Stu Levitan wrote:OK, I'm busted -- turns out the longest tenure we can document so far (for non-elderly) is 17 years. So, Vicky, do you think that's ok -- for non-elderly, non-handicapped household to retain voucher for 17 years? If so, why is that inherently more progressive than serving two families for seven and ten years respectively?

I'm assuming you don't have much information as to the circumstances faced by the 17 year family. It's impossible to answer your question about whether it is ok without knowing more. For example, did the family have a child with a disability that made the parent unable to work? What was the education level of the adult(s) at the time of program entry? Were there underlying health issues that may not have technically qualified as "handicapped"? And so forth...


Or was this a working family with many kids (maybe grandkids) so that their wages don't cover their costs . . .

Stuart, when you ask this question, are you somehow implying that these folks on Section 8 are somehow doing something undesirable or wrong at that you'd like to see them doing something different?
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Postby spacecase » Fri Sep 29, 2006 1:02 pm

[quote:VickySelkowe] If you're so worried about limited resources and people staying on S8 too long, seems like your energy would be better spent by a) fighting like hell to get the state & the feds to put more money into programs like this and b) ensuring that S8 recipients get every opportunity while on the program to raise their skill levels, deal with barriers to work, etc. so that they would raise their income levels to a point where they wouldn't even qualify for the program anymore and would actually be able to pay for housing without assistance.

Tell me: Do CDA staff currently have the resources or training to help S8 recipients access job training, skill development, basic ed/literacy or higher ed? Do they help S8 recipients get expedited DVR services? Do they help S8 recipients get help for domestic violence, AODA, mental health or physical health problems? How would your staff feel if you told 'em they had to do all that on top of their regular duties?

And I'd be curious to know how many Madison families have been receiving Section 8 for "21 years"...I'm as prone to hyperbole as the next gal, Stu, but c'mon...[/quote]


Exactly. I am speaking from experience here. You're wondering if poor people need time limits to motivate them to seek self-sufficeiency and stop using these programs so that other poor people can use them? I'll tell you.

I'm on section 8. It's not a picnic or a vacation. I'm poor. It's no fun. I'm also a disabled parent. I guess it's no coincidence that some of my friends are also parents living in poverty and using these programs.

All of the moms that I know on section 8 are in college or they just graduated. Not because they're required to go, but because they're trying to get out of poverty. To be poor enough to qualify for section 8 really, really sucks. No sane person wants to stay that poor. No sane person wants to stay in such shitty housing, either. Or be subjected to degrading inspections. If a person does want to stay on section 8 for 21 years (unheard of), then maybe they are disabled in some way.

If there aren't enough vouchers and many more poor people need housing, strange, arbitrary, across-the-board time limits are not the solution. That thinking is totally backwards. What we need then is more affordable housing. More resources to help poor people get an education and some job skills. If you throw people off of the program who aren't ready, you'll have another problem: homeless families. Some solution.

I think that perhaps your thinking, Stu, is based in this myth that poor people are poor because they're lazy. That's just not true. The whole question that you're posing sounds like it comes from a privelidged perspective.
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Postby spacecase » Fri Sep 29, 2006 1:08 pm

Stu Levitan wrote:OK, I'm busted -- turns out the longest tenure we can document so far (for non-elderly) is 17 years. So, Vicky, do you think that's ok -- for non-elderly, non-handicapped household to retain voucher for 17 years? If so, why is that inherently more progressive than serving two families for seven and ten years respectively?


Just so you know, according to what I've had to fill out for section 8, handicapped means 'in a wheelchair'. If you require special housing, such as something with a ramp, you're disabled.

There are a lot of disabled people who aren't in wheelchairs.
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Postby spacecase » Fri Sep 29, 2006 1:14 pm

spacecase wrote:
Stu Levitan wrote:OK, I'm busted -- turns out the longest tenure we can document so far (for non-elderly) is 17 years. So, Vicky, do you think that's ok -- for non-elderly, non-handicapped household to retain voucher for 17 years? If so, why is that inherently more progressive than serving two families for seven and ten years respectively?


Just so you know, according to what I've had to fill out for section 8, handicapped means 'in a wheelchair'. If you require special housing, such as something with a ramp, you're disabled.

There are a lot of disabled people who aren't in wheelchairs.


OK, I see from further up, where you quoted the 52% figure, that obviously they do recognize other disabilities.
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Postby Stampy » Fri Sep 29, 2006 9:31 pm

Stu Levitan wrote:OK, I'm busted -- turns out the longest tenure we can document so far (for non-elderly) is 17 years. So, Vicky, do you think that's ok -- for non-elderly, non-handicapped household to retain voucher for 17 years? If so, why is that inherently more progressive than serving two families for seven and ten years respectively?


17 years!!!!!!!!!!
That is outrageous! Welfare is supposed to be short-term assistance, not a lifestyle!

I support your 7 year cap, but even that seems excessively generous!

I get real sick of reading all these stupid excuses about why some people are such deadbeats.
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Postby mountain_goat » Wed Oct 04, 2006 7:25 pm

As someone who has worked in social services, I have come to strongly believe that indefinite services of any sort build dependency. It also creates a disincentive to get off them. And much to my dismay, I've learned that if left unchecked, there are a sizable portion of people who are happy to take advantage of the system. (Much greater than this bleeding heart idealist would like to have believed). For these reasons, I agree that Section 8 should have time restrictions. Furthermore, if someone has a significant disability, there are other safety nets such SSI or SSDI payments that can be used to cover rent.
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Postby Harbinger » Sun Oct 15, 2006 1:42 pm

An 8 year upper limit with a special circumstances allowing another two years, sounds reasonable if it excudes disabled and elderly. But I bet it doesn't free up that many vouchers. Out of all of them there is only one that has ever gone to 17 years, correct? But even a few more vouchers would be positive.

Would this apply to building-based Section 8 too?
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