Property Managers across the country are told all the time that Fair Housing laws are not fair to all people. Tenants who are not considered a protected class, complain that those who are, receive unfair and preferential treatment. Landlords complain to their property managers that some interpretations and enforcement of the Fair Housing Act are unreasonable and add unnecessary costs to being a landlord. Well like any law, you will always have opposition from one corner or another. As property managers, it is our duty to follow the laws. The purpose of this blog post is to provide news within the industry and to give a voice to a tenant who feels that he has none.
Drives a Bugatti -- accepts public housing assistance?
Maybe the more appropriate title for this post would be, "Is HUD Fair?" HUD oversees the Fair Housing Act and subsidized housing. The article that caught the eye of one of our very own tenants and blog subscribers was sent to me with absolute discontent (A family in public housing makes $498,000. HUD wants them to stay. -- The Washington Post). Our tenant qualifies for housing assistance but receives none, and he is disheartened to know that a family making nearly $500,000 per year receives public housing assistance. The article states:
"In a new report, the watchdog for the Department of Housing and Urban Development describes these and more than 25,000 other "over income" families earning more than the maximum income for government-subsidized housing as an "egregious" abuse of the system. While the family in New York with an annual income of almost $500,000 raked in $790,500 in rental income on its real estate holdings in recent years, more than 300,000 families that really qualify for public housing lingered on waiting lists." New York, Puerto Rico and Texas had the most over-income families in public housing, while Utah, Idaho and Wyoming had the fewest, investigators found."
Well, I was at a loss for words. I thanked our tenant for forwarding the article, though I also felt the need to apologize for a system that I feel I have no control of. I encouraged the tenant to contact the local Housing Authority to pursue any 'entitlements' for which he might be eligible. The tenant's response was not like anything that I had expected, which was, "I said that I qualified and that I don't receive public housing assistance. Just because I qualify, doesn't mean that I want or need the assistance."
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