You are where you live — or at least that’s the implication of common U.S. code words like “the wrong side of the tracks” and now the use of “Section 8” as a racial slur. Increasingly, poor people who have been priced out of housing are also being pushed out of rent-subsidized housing. A combination of racism and prejudice against poor people lead many private landlords to refuse to rent to people who use federal rental assistance, commonly known as Section 8 vouchers. At the same time, new federal policies encourage government agencies that own and manage low-income housing to turn it over to private developers. Continue reading
Tag Archives: rental
I was heading to the locker room in the gym at 6 a.m. when the phone in my pocket rang. “Sorry, I didn’t want to wake you up,” Bernie-the-cabdriver said. “I was just going to leave a message.” The message was good news: South St. Paul had passed some amendments to the city’s rental ordinance, but not the per-block restrictions on rentals that had been proposed. Continue reading
UPDATED February 4, 2016 — Bernie-the-cabdriver, sitting in his green and white taxi van, calls it as he sees it, and he doesn’t like South St. Paul’s proposed rental ordinance changes. The changes will fly under the radar for most people, because almost no one pays attention to city council meetings. Making city ordinances, Bernie says, is “like farting under a blanket.” Eventually, the smell gets out, but nobody knows who is responsible. Continue reading
UPDATED 3/18/2015 – Poor people belong in cities, not in suburbs, and definitely not in mine. Sleep in your car, on a sofa in your cousin’s house, under a bridge — anywhere but next door to me. These messages came across loud and clear in a spate of recent articles focused on housing for low-income people.