Wall Street Jrn: Raising Hell in Subsidzed Housing

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Wall Street Journal editorial page:


Raising Hell in Subsidized Housing

Section 8 rental subsidies have long helped ruin neighborhoods. Obama administration policies are making things worse. .Article Comments more in Opinion ».


Section 8 rental subsidies have long been one of the most controversial federal social programs. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) under the Obama administration is making a troubled program worse.

In the 1990s, the feds were embarrassed by skyrocketing crime rates in public housing—up to 10 times the national average, according to HUD studies and many newspaper reports. The government’s response was to hand out vouchers to residents of the projects (authorized under Section 8 of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974), dispersing them to safer and more upscale locales.

Section 8’s budget soared to …


4 Responses to Wall Street Jrn: Raising Hell in Subsidzed Housing

  1. anonymous August 19, 2011 at 8:46 am #

    The inferences you draw in this op-ed are flawed. For example, many criminals engaging in Section 8 fraud has NO implications about the effects of Section 8. To make this clear, many criminals utilize US currency. You are implying that Section 8 causes criminality in some way, but this can not be inferred from the ratios you are reporting. Similarly, 11 out of 13 criminal hot spots being associated with high concentrations of Section 8 rentals is completely uninformative about the effects of Section 8. The question you need to address is the counterfactual effects of shutting Section 8 down. Do you actually think crime will go down if this program ends? Perhaps you do, but these statistics are not illustrative of this — indeed, they CAN’T be illustrative of that or any other hypothetical about the effect of changing Section 8.

  2. Larry Ballard August 19, 2011 at 9:48 am #

    I have seen the results of Section 8 in condominiums. Renting to Section 8 imported crime and all kinds of savage and criminal behaviors. The Section 9 people were all blacks. The reason for the criminality is clearly black culture that sanctions militancy (poor neighbors), rejection of free education, babies out of wedlock (70%), no respect whatever for women, families and family values. Black leaders (Jackson, Waters, Lee, Sharpton and an assortment of other race baiters) should preach Christian values and demonstrate outrage at these conditions. They won’t.

  3. lisbeth jardine August 20, 2011 at 2:45 pm #

    Have you ever looked at WHERE typical Section 8 housing is actually located? Have you ever looked at Section 8 housing period? Most of it’s not fit for a dog. At least HUD public housing, there’s some hope of making the “landlord” accountable to meet basic hygiene standards. What was figure on NPR item this a.m. [Saturday Edition]? One in six people in US are under Federal Poverty guidelines. So, where does a person–with a Master’s degree yet, from a quite respectable university–living on less than $900/month total income–yes, SSDI, go to live? Are you actually proposing that HUD close down and turn senior citizens out onto the streets? I’m supposed to go get a greeter job at WalMart or something? That’ll really provide sufficient income to put me into something livable, now, won’t it. Come, Mr. Bovard, and give the real world a try.–ljardine

  4. Marie February 11, 2012 at 5:05 pm #

    In Lancaster, Section 8 recipients live in huge 5-6 bedroom homes with pools in the most expensive neighoborhoods. Check local rentals listed for Section 8!!!!! They drive Esclades and BMWs to pick up their food stamps (or whatever it is called now). They DO NOT WORK – not because they are unable but because they don’t want to and can make more money dealing drugs from these once nice neighborhoods. You have no clue what you are talking about. You are not living in the real world, at least not our world in Lancaster. Yes, crime and gang activity increased with the increase in Section 8 and went down with the decrease! Time after time, criminals are arrested and taken out of Section 8 housing! And no, we DON’T have the services to provide for the huge influx of welfare famlies and Section 8 recipients! The county sends the criminals and problems up here, keeps the money that they are supposed to use to support these people downbelow (Los Angeles) for themselves.
    Perhaps our area is different than yours. Come see for yourself! Our town is a mountain range and worlds away from thosse running the program in Los Angeles. Now we have a group of conviceted criminals who want the inspections stopped (for personal and financial gain) and have sued law abiding residents to force then to let them destroy our town. President Obama makes big speeches about stopping fraud in government programs and HUD, which runs Section 8, makes big speeches in its literature about preventing and rooting out fraud in the program. But when a city actually does, they do everything they can to force them to stop. Slap ’em down before other cities decide to follow suit and put a stop to some much fraud. After all, someone might suspect HUD isn’t really doing its job. And someone might figure out that the President was just talking to hear himself talk. Much more important than actually getting rid of fraud and criminals and making sure those who really need the housing can get the housing – like the 83-year-old grandmother who has worked all her life. Now she is disabled and needs Section 8 but can’t get it. Why? She is white and she lives in Lancastr – not LA, whose residents get first choice of housing in Lancaster. Who do you think should be sued and investigated. A town trying to root out fraud and criminals or an agency that does its work based on race and where a person currently lives?
    Something stinks in the Los Angeles County Housing Authority!!!!!!!