Forced Out – The New Yorker

Forced Out

Re-tweeted this article yesterday, thought I would add to it today.

For the past several years we have tried to provide a rental assistance voucher program through the use of CPA funds. We learned this past year, that such direct cash subsidies were not allowed under the Massachusetts Constitution. It is truly unfortunate, as you will see from this article, rental subsidies are severely lacking and even the smallest hiccup for some places them in a position of winding up homeless.

While there needs to be a method of protecting landlords from problem tenants, there also needs to be a mechanism of protecting those who appreciate having a roof over their head from being evicted should they miss a month’s rent payment. Having been a complex manager for my landlord in NH many years ago, I have seen the issue fairly clearly. Those who know how to lawyer up, are usually the ones who cause the greatest problems, usually because they have made use of legal aid for other reasons. Those who do not lawyer up, usually are the ones who are the least problem for other tenants, elderly, single parent households, etc.

Somehow we need a better screening process. Evictions should not be the only measure of whether someone is a risky tenant, they also should not be, as is the case in this Milwaukee story, a reason for keeping them off of the housing authority waiting list.

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