Section 8 Housing Evictions Rise

SF Gate reports on the rising evictions of tenants who have vouchers to pay for their rent.

The San Francisco Housing Authority manages the local Section 8 program, which awards federally funded housing vouchers to low-income, disabled or elderly people to use toward rent in private apartments and houses. There are 9,500 households receiving Section 8 vouchers in San Francisco.

2010 market rates

The vouchers’ value – $1,473 for a one-bedroom apartment and $1,858 for two bedrooms – is set by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development using a complicated formula. Last changed in 2011, it is based on fair market rates from 2008 to 2010. Rents in San Francisco have skyrocketed since then, but the voucher values haven’t budged.

Gene Gibson, spokeswoman for the regional HUD office, said another calculation will be made in the next year, but until then it’s unknown whether there will be an increase in the voucher value or for how much.

Tenants can make up the difference between the voucher value and their rent, but even that is increasingly not enough – and attorneys say some of their clients are paying 70 percent of their small incomes toward rent in an effort to keep their apartments. READ MORE.

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2 Comments

  1. John

    Section 8 is a much more logical and equitable approach to helping the poor with housing costs.

    Partly because the cost falls on society as a whole rather than a small and often disenfranchised minority, as rent control does.

    And partly because it specifically targets the poor, rather than those who have hoarded a rental for the longest time.

    It provides assistance without tying either the landlord or the tenant to a long-term commitment.

    Of course, the voucher amounts are never going to get you into the affluent zip codes anyway, and nobody should be thinking of Section 8 as a substitute for the insight and self-discovery necessary to ensure you live somewhere compatible with your wallet and pay grade.

    But in the end, property owners are free to either take Section 8 tenants or not take them. So the idea that it could ever sustain an indefinite number of poor people in an expensive town was never viable.

    • Russo

      With some headlines, you just know who has sprinted to the comment section.

      The “small and often disenfranchised minority” JJ weeps over is, of course, the landlord.

      A moment’s silence to pity SF property owners.

      And now crocodile tears for the poor, elderly and disabled who don’t have the “insight and self-discovery” to be rich.

      Sheesh.

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