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  1. TopTop #1
    jerichsalud's Avatar
    jerichsalud
     

    Section 8 stock fails to meet housing need- Sonoma West Times and News

    By Amie Windsor, staff writer, [email protected]


    City discussing solutions to crisis

    Anyone who’s ever searched for a rental on Craigslist has seen the parenthetical message next to a listing: No Section 8.

    It’s a barrier to many who can’t afford Sebastopol’s median rent of approximately $2,000.


    The Section 8 housing voucher choice program assists low-income individuals and families with their rental payments. In Sonoma County, the program is administered by the county’s Community Development Commission (CDC), spearheaded by executive director Margaret Van Vliet.

    According to Van Vliet, individuals who use vouchers pay 30 percent of their income toward rent; the rest is covered by federal funding provided to and administered by the CDC.

    “Section 8 is like a three-way contract between a landlord, tenant and us,” Van Vliet said. “If you get a voucher, your housing is stable.”

    Van Vliet explained that Section 8 vouchers make up the difference if an individual’s income changes.

    “If someone has fewer hours or their shifts change and they make less money,” she said the CDC will work with the renter to make sure their rent is paid on time.

    According to Van Vliet, the CDC manages roughly 3,000 vouchers throughout Sonoma County, excluding Santa Rosa.

    “These people are on disability or are seniors. They are on fixed incomes or low incomes,” Van Vliet said.

    A Section 8 voucher is a prized possession in the county; Van Vliet said there are anywhere between 7,000 and 20,000 people on the waiting list, “depending on which numbers you use.”

    Van Vliet acknowledged the discrepancy and blamed the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the governmental organization responsible for funding Section 8, for moving too slowly.

    “HUD isn’t keeping pace with the reality of Sonoma County,” she said.

    Additionally, according to the annual Housing Needs Assessment report issued this month by the California Housing Partnership, the federal and state governments have reduced investment in affordable housing by more than $41 million annually since 2008. For the 2015-16 year, HUD provided just over $5 million to Sonoma County, a 13 percent reduction from 2008-09.

    “That’s an 87 percent reduction,” said Larry Florin, chief executive officer of Burbank Housing.

    The report also states the county needs 17,144 more affordable rental homes to meet the needs of its lowest-income renters.

    “The biggest single problem is the sheer lack of available rental units,” Van Vliet said.

    Van Vliet told a gathering of about 20 landlords, renters, developers and community members in Sebastopol during the fourth installment of the city’s housing committee meetings that the lack of rental units is a major community issue.


    The housing committee was created by Mayor Una Glass after the city began discussing rent control and voted to place a moratorium on rent increases throughout the city at the end of last year. The committee is focused on exploring creative solutions to providing more affordable housing in Sebastopol.

    Sebastopol has about 1,800 rental units. According to data from Affordable Housing Online, the city maintains a stock of roughly 275 Section 8 units. Additionally, Burbank Heights, Petaluma Avenue Homes, Bodega Hills Apartments and Gravenstein North Apartments provide housing options for low-income individuals and families.

    It’s not enough, Florin said.

    “There’s a shrinking pot of resources to meet the needs,” he added.

    Statewide assistance could be on the way, Florin added. Currently two state Senate bills are making their way through the legislature that could establish a permanent housing fund that would help cities establish more affordable housing.

    “But,” Florin warned, “It’s only about $1.5 million statewide. So that’s not that much when you think of how big California is.”

    On a more local level, Sonoma County struggles to qualify for regional funding assistance, as it competes with Alameda and other Bay Area counties.

    “I wish I had good news,” Florin said.
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  3. TopTop #2
    rossmen
     

    Re: Section 8 stock fails to meet housing need- Sonoma West Times and News

    As landowner who rents homes to people on section 8, I understand why it is hard to find this kind of rental anymore. All the reasons listed in the article and more. With me, if you are not in, forget it. Word is that the program will end in a year or two anyway. The comments to this article are informative.


    Quote jerichsalud wrote: View Post


    Section 8 stock fails to meet housing need
    By Amie Windsor, staff writer, [email protected]


    City discussing solutions to crisis

    ...
    Last edited by Barry; 05-13-2017 at 09:54 AM.
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  4. TopTop #3

    Re: Section 8 stock fails to meet housing need- Sonoma West Times and News

    I want to clarify some things about section 8 and landlords.
    I was helping a friend finding a tenant for her place, which we did (thanks CL!)
    Why don't landlords want section 8 people?
    Renters are not always upfront about having section 8
    There are some people that don't like the government in their lives.
    HUD comes through annually to check the property, even it isn't rented.
    Some landlords don't want to report their rental income.
    Since you're dealing with the government, your first check can take weeks or months to arrive, after that it's a sure thing though, for now.
    Right now there is a lady posting here on waco that '. HUD has great tax breaks and is not going to report a non permitted building'. BULLSHIT!
    a) there are NO tax breaks because of HUD, in fact you now HAVE to pay tax on the rental income.
    b) you are at the mercy of the HUD people whether they report you. Even though it is rare, you
    are only one click away from being reported by a peefed or Trumpian worker.
    With Ben Carson being in charge of the program, we have no idea how long this program will be kept in place. What are you supposed to do with a renter when they don't get their subsidy anymore?


    For all those renters that are screaming about being ripped of by greedy landlords, tell me how much property tax did you pay this year to help pay for roads, schools, hospitals and other services. I paid $6500!!!
    Have you ever had to fix up a property that was rented by Section 8 tenant? I have!

    Quote jerichsalud wrote: View Post
    By Amie Windsor, staff writer, [email protected]


    City discussing solutions to crisis

    Anyone who’s ever searched for a rental on Craigslist has seen the parenthetical message next to a listing: No Section 8.

    It’s a barrier to many who can’t afford Sebastopol’s median rent of approximately $2,000.

    Continues here
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    tommy's Avatar
    tommy
    Supporting member

    Re: Section 8 stock fails to meet housing need- Sonoma West Times and News

    Bob2, I've gotta say the tone of your post is pretty angry...

    It is not true to say that "HUD comes through annually to check the property, even it isn't rented." HUD does not have the staff to do this. Why would they? I've been a Sec 8 landlord for 25 years, on multiple rental properties. They have never inspected a unit that was not occupied by a Sec 8 tenant.

    It's misleading to say "there are NO tax breaks because of HUD". There are significant tax breaks to landlords: depreciation, mortgage interest, RE taxes, all the repairs. While there are no special tax breaks from HUD income, owners of rental properties receive huge tax breaks. With all the prior deductions, they often operate at a loss or break even, and pay no income tax... even tho they may have high income and able to afford goodies like big homes in expensive neighborhoods, fancy cars, foreign vacations, etc. Just ask our President!

    Our Federal tax system works to the advantage of the wealthy, including those who own property and rentals, and to the disadvantage of those renting, and working for a paycheck. Those working for a paycheck are the ones paying all the taxes - not their landlords!

    Another misleading comment is "how much property tax did you pay this year to help pay for roads, schools, hospitals and other services. I paid $6500!!!" Obviously, renters do not pay RE taxes, the owner does. Part of the income from rents is to cover expenses such as RE taxes, mortgage, repairs. However, as rents have doubled in Sonoma County in the last 10-15 years, RE taxes are almost always covered by the increase in income.

    Quote Bob2 wrote: View Post
    I want to clarify some things about section 8 and landlords....
    Last edited by Barry; 06-06-2017 at 12:52 PM.
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    Re: Section 8 stock fails to meet housing need- Sonoma West Times and News

    Tommy, You're right about the NO inspection when it's empty or without a section 8 tenant, what I meant to say was that it will be inspected every year even if it is rented out to the same person on section 8. (my bad, with bad edits)

    Now you are VERY misleading to still suggest that tax breaks and deductions are somehow related to HUD. NOT RELATED TO HUD AT ALL, they are related to RENTING.

    More misleading is done with your comment "Those working for a paycheck are the ones paying all the taxes - not their landlords!"
    If that were true, I'd stop working! Make up your mind are the landlords making money or are they getting free taxes? Just because you are able to afford goodies like big homes in expensive neighborhoods, fancy cars, foreign vacations, etc. after renting out for 25 years, that doesn't mean every landlord does.
    My friend had to choose between losing her home ( because of the high taxes) or renting out a portion of it.
    Renting is NOT always a blessing, and when it is a burden it can force someone to loose their home.
    Renters also get to vote on what a HO pays in taxes, do you think that is fair?

    Tommy you show your intent to confuse the reader when you call my tax bill, misleading. You even starting to mix in Federal taxes with property taxes, now that is really misleading!
    Renters are seldom aware of
    what the cost of a property is to a landlord, including repairs and taxes. They think it is all profit and it is just for "goodies like big homes in expensive neighborhoods, fancy cars, foreign
    vacations, etc." .


    But most misleading in your comments is your lack of addressing the fact that HUD will get less money, that HUD might be canned and my Question what a HO should do with a tenant who loses their subsidy since they pay only 30% of their income towards the rent? can you at least address that?

    Tommy, I don't know you but are you really a landlord or are you misleading us all?
    Quote tommy wrote: View Post
    ...It's misleading to say "there are NO tax breaks because of HUD". There are significant tax breaks to landlords...
    Last edited by Barry; 06-07-2017 at 03:58 PM.
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  9. TopTop #6

    Re: Section 8 stock fails to meet housing need- Sonoma West Times and News

    Here's a great article on rent control
    http://www.sfchronicle.com/business/...t-11203882.php
    and how the problem is not just Landlords but a lack of a Living wage that creates inequality.
    And then there are the people who buy up homes not to rent but to use as a 2nd home.
    “We have people with a considerable amount of money buying up second homes,” he said. That is driving up not just housing prices but also rents, because “our largest group of tenants are in single-family homes.”
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  11. TopTop #7
    tommy's Avatar
    tommy
    Supporting member

    Re: Section 8 stock fails to meet housing need- Sonoma West Times and News

    The Santa Rosa Rent Control Ordinance was the result of the collaboration of political organizations in Santa Rosa, with Santa Rosa Council people, and Rent Control advocates and tenants rights groups in other parts of the Bay Area, & the East Bay. Their efforts for Rent Control led to votes in 11/16 in Alameda, Burlingame, East Palo Alto, Mountain View, Oakland, Richmond & San Mateo. They were approved in E Palo Alto, Mountain View, Oakland, & Richmond... defeated elsewhere.

    Local organizations, led by the North Bay Organizing Project, succeeded in gaining support for Measure C in last week's election, by a number of local groups, including the Santa Rosa Democratic Party.

    Rent Control measures have historically been popular in areas with a majority of renters - such as San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley, & Santa Monica... and not as popular in areas with a majority of owners, such as Santa Rosa.



    Quote Bob2 wrote: View Post
    Here's a great article on rent control
    http://www.sfchronicle.com/business/...t-11203882.php
    and how the problem is not just Landlords but a lack of a Living wage that creates inequality.
    And then there are the people who buy up homes not to rent but to use as a 2nd home.
    “We have people with a considerable amount of money buying up second homes,” he said. That is driving up not just housing prices but also rents, because “our largest group of tenants are in single-family homes.”
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  12. TopTop #8
    rossmen
     

    Re: Section 8 stock fails to meet housing need- Sonoma West Times and News

    Interesting tommy, the US has many encouragements for home ownership, and historical rates close to 2/3. In comparable countries with higher home rental rates, like western europe, is rent control operative? This is the kind of analysis so hard to find, lots of variables and no money to be made.

    Quote tommy wrote: View Post
    ...Rent Control measures have historically been popular in areas with a majority of renters - such as San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley, & Santa Monica... and not as popular in areas with a majority of owners, such as Santa Rosa.
    Last edited by Barry; 06-12-2017 at 03:35 PM.
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    Re: Section 8 stock fails to meet housing need- Sonoma West Times and News

    "...Local organizations, led by the North Bay Organizing Project, succeeded in gaining support for Measure C in last week's election, by a number of local groups, including the Santa Rosa Democratic Party..."
    The above quote , extracted from Tommy's post from Sonoma West Times and News (as Tommy's post subject states), seems to indicate that Measure C "succeeded", ie., passed in Santa Rosa.

    This is a subject near and dear to my heart, as my rent was raised $325.

    I'm not criticizing you Tommy, I'm just wanting to set the record straight.

    The No on Measure C people outspent our side's grassroots efforts by huge amounts--

    Santa Rosa City Councilwoman Julie Combs said on the radio that much of the money came from outside of Santa Rosa, Sonoma County and even outside of California--she said Chicago alone sent in $300,000 to defeat C. Now they can continue to evict people without just-cause, and raise rents whenever and however much they want.
    And much of the No on C info was misleading and/or outright lies.
    I vote for making it illegal to lie in political matters.
    Last edited by Barry; 06-12-2017 at 03:37 PM.
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    tommy's Avatar
    tommy
    Supporting member

    Re: Section 8 stock fails to meet housing need- Sonoma West Times and News

    Gaiasophia,

    Rent Control aka Measure C was a very contentious issue and campaign.
    • Regarding your situation, "near & dear to your heart"... your rent going up $325: to understand your situation better, it'd be helpful to know if your home would have been covered by Measure C (is it in Santa Rosa, was it multi family built prior to 2/95)? Was your rent "below market"? What size home, what was the old & new rent, or what % of the old rent is the $325? If you lived in Podunk, Kansas, it's likely your rent would not have gone up by that amt. If it had, you could probably easily find another place to live at a cheaper rent. The point here is that Sonoma Co is a very desirable place to live, there's more demand than supply, thus rents go up. Also, you have to face the fact that in our economic system, as a renter, you don't have the security that an owner has. Another piece is that there are places such as those managed by Burbank Housing, and affordable units run by the county, that would not have raises like you had.
    • The "No on C" spent around $850k, while the "Yes on C" spend $130k, so you are correct the "Yes on C" was vastly outspent. It was large property owners, the CA Apt Assn, a company from Chicago, and others who contributed. One reason they spent alot is they don't want rent control spreading to other places in CA. Another reason is that had Measure C passed, it would have depressed the apartment real estate market in Santa Rosa.
    • If there were misleading parts of the "No on C" campaign, there were also misleading parts of the "Yes on C" campaign... for instance, the "Yes on C" campaign indicated that out of town investors were buying up apartment properties in Santa Rosa, evicting people, remodeling them, & raising the rent. While this has happened in a few cases, I believe they over stated this. Just Cause Eviction was part of Measure C, which would allow eviction only for non pmt of rent, & repeated late pmt. The problem with Just Cause Eviction is that it protects criminals, drug dealers, & people who harm the well being of others, by poor behavior, traffic, noise, etc. A year ago I rented a house on Sec 8 to a woman & 2 kids (kids never moved in), & within 10 hours got complaints from 3 neighbors about "traffic" meaning drug dealing. Just cause eviction would have protected her, as long as she paid rent. She later was arrested for possession, it was later dismissed, so again, I'd have been unable to get rid of her. The "No on C" campaign emphasized the problems with Just Cause Evictions, that it didn't help homelessness, and the gov't cost of administering the program. In focus groups of likely voters, these were found to be compelling arguments against Measure C.
    • I don't think it's accurate to say "landlords can raise rents as much as they want". At some point, is the raise is too high, the tenant will find a better deal, & move out.
    • Rent Control / Measure C had many pros & cons, there were good arguments on each side. Rent control preserves housing for those lucky enough to find a rent controlled place. It lets them live there as long as they want. It takes power away from the landlord, and gives it to the tenant, especially with just cause eviction. Rent Control advocates often point to San Francisco, Berkeley, Oakland, & Santa Monica, where rent control has promoted diversity, and allowed long term tenants to stay in their housing, as new people move in with higher incomes, and displace those with lower incomes (gentrification). Studies have shown that since rent controlled tenants stay in their homes for a long time, it removed them from normal vacancy patterns, and therefore creates a shortage of places for rent, which raises the rent of the remaining units. So the majority pay with higher rents, for a few lucky enough to get lower rents. It could well have had the effect of Airbnd, which has changed alot of rentals to tourist places, thereby creating a shortage, decreasing supply, thus raising rents. This is part of the economic supply & demand curve: if you decrease supply, demand will rise.
    • Everyone agrees we need more affordable housing. There is hope that Bond measures by the state of CA, and locally in the Alameda, Berkeley, Oakland, Santa Clara County & San Mateo County, will fund new housing. It was short sighted of the Santa Rosa City Council to propose the divisive measure of Rent Control (by a slim majority), rather than putting that money & energy into creating new housing (which they are already doing). Issues underlying the rental housing situation is the way the economy works in the US. Landlords get rich over tenants. The economy benefits landlords, with all the write offs, & low taxes, it's poor people working for a paycheck who pay the taxes. These are dynamics of class and power. It's hard to change the system.

    Quote gaiasophia wrote: View Post
    "...Local organizations, led by the North Bay Organizing Project, succeeded in gaining support for Measure C in last week's election, by a number of local groups, including the Santa Rosa Democratic Party..."
    The above quote , extracted from Tommy's post from Sonoma West Times and News (as Tommy's post subject states), seems to indicate that Measure C "succeeded", ie., passed in Santa Rosa.

    This is a subject near and dear to my heart, as my rent was raised $325.

    I'm not criticizing you Tommy, I'm just wanting to set the record straight.

    The No on Measure C people outspent our side's grassroots efforts by huge amounts--

    Santa Rosa City Councilwoman Julie Combs said on the radio that much of the money came from outside of Santa Rosa, Sonoma County and even outside of California--she said Chicago alone sent in $300,000 to defeat C. Now they can continue to evict people without just-cause, and raise rents whenever and however much they want.
    And much of the No on C info was misleading and/or outright lies.
    I vote for making it illegal to lie in political matters.
    Last edited by tommy; 06-13-2017 at 08:11 AM.
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