Alaska wants special housing voucher for domestic violence

After observing just who was applying most often for the Section 8 voucher program, Governor Sean Parnell of Alaska is proposing $1.3 million for housing aid for victims of domestic violence in Alaska.

The problem with the current list is a combination of a long waiting list and almost no turnover in the program.

English: Suzanne Perry, Domestic violence vict...
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If approved, it could help an estimated 150 families for a year.

The main purpose of the program will be to remove the victims and any children from violent situations as soon as possible while providing a cushion in which they can rebuild their shattered lives.

Since this is a temporary measure to help those in need get back on their feet, a time limit of perhaps two years on the program is being suggested.

Also proposed such things as screening and services for children exposed to violence, continued aid to shelters and prevention programs and special supervision of domestic violence felons.

Otherwise, the housing choice voucher will operate pretty much the same as any other HUD voucher.

Details of the program, which would be run through the Alaska Housing Finance Corp., or AHFC, are still being worked out.

Source:

The Republic

Jersey City woman becomes Hudson’s first home purchaser through Section 8 program

Betty Ellis, 53, closed on the purchase of a single-family home on McAdoo Avenue in the Greenville section of Jersey City, becoming the first person in Hudson County to purchase a home through the Section 8 Homeownership Program.

English: House for Sale, Toy's Hill
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The program, created in 2003, allows vouchers for monthly rent payments to be applied toward some ownership expenses, including principal and interest on the mortgage, insurance, taxes, utilities and other homeownership expenses.

Qualifying for the program is difficult due to housing prices and finding a house that meets the requirements of the program. The house must be affordable and in good condition.

The $82,000 home under a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage with payments in line with Ellis’s voucher amount, $925 per month. She had to pay around $2,700 that she had saved to cover the closing costs.

A spokesman from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s office in Newark said there have been 492 homeownership closings in New Jersey since 2003.

The department has encouraged housing authorities to administer homeownership programs, but has not required it. A total of 29 housing authorities across the state have had ownership closings since the program’s inception. The program in New Jersey is administered by the Department of Community Affairs.

Individuals take classes that include credit counseling, mortgage financing, and budgeting to learn how to use money in order to finalize the purchase of their home.

Tucson reopening Section 8 waiting list from Dec 13 – 15, 2011

Tucson’s Housing and Community Development department is re-opening the waiting list for its Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program from December 13, 2011 til December 15, 2011. This will be the first time that it has been opened since 2008.

English: A view of El Presidio Park, behind th...
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Applications must be submitted by December 15 in order to be entered into the eligible applicants waiting list.

Everyone who applies will be given the same chance to be put on the waiting list regardless of which date the application was submitted.

 Tucson Housing Authority is expecting about 5,000 applications to be submitted during the three-day window.

They currently provides assistance to about 5,200 clients with another 700 already on the waiting list.

There are two ways to apply, mailing in a paper application or applying online (paper applications cannot be dropped off in person).

Call the Section 8 Office at 520-791-4739.

Apply online at the Tucson Housing Authority.

Paper applications will be available at all 27 Pima County libraries as well as various community centers and the Section 8 housing office.

  • 310 N. Commerce Park Loop.
  • Pima County Housing Center, 801 W. Congress
  • Archer Center, 1665 S. La Cholla Blvd.
  • Catalina Community Center, 16562 N. Oracle Rd., Catalina
  • Cavigilia Arivaca Library, 17050 W. Arivaca Rd., Arivaca
  • Clements Center, 8155 E. Poinciana Way
  • El Pueblo Center, 101 W. Irvington Rd.
  • El Rio Center, 1390 W. Speedway Blvd.
  • Geasa Marana Library ,13370 N. Lon Adams Rd., Marana
  • Joyner Green Valley Library, 601 N. La Canada Dr., Green Valley
  • Kino Community Center, 2805 E. Ajo Way
  • Northwest Center, 2160 N. 6th Ave.
  • Picture Rocks Community Center 5615 N. Sanders Rd.
  • Pima County Community Services, 120 Estrella Ave., Ajo
  • Randolph Recreation Center, 200 S. Alvernon Way
  • Swetland Community Center 1550 S. Sahuarita Park Rd., Sahuarita
  • Pascua Center, 785 W. Sahuaro St.
  • Quincie Douglas Center, 1575 E. 36th St.
  • Udall Center, 7200 E. Tanque Verde Rd.

Section 8 Fraud in Seattle

Lyudmila Shimonova has a $1272 voucher in Seattle, Washington for her and her two children.

She also receives a monthly Social Security check as well as TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families).

The problem?

She does not financially qualify for any of it.

In fact, those Housing Authority was actually making payments for her husband for her housing.

A fact that neither she nor her husband, David Silverstein, a Seattle chiropractor, disclosed as was apt.

And the house that they were “renting” is a $1.2 million, three-bedroom, 2,300-square-foot home on waterfront property Lake Washington.

All in all, the feds are saying that the couple collected more than $135,000 in welfare since 2003.

And what were they doing with that “extra” money.

Apparently living it up with trips to Moscow, Paris, Israel, Turkey, Mexico and the Dominican Republic, according to the travel records of the Department of Homeland Security.

Shimonova actually claimed that she lived alone with her two children and that her assets were less than $5000.

Yet Silverstein listed the house as his primary residence on his driver’s license and passport.

Suspiciously, however, he listed his office as his home address on her application for housing assistance.

He also publicly acknowledged Shimonova as his wife.

A report of the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle for the 2010 fiscal year listed “Mila and Dr. David Silverstein” as donors.

In addition, Shimonova also failed to mention the bank accounts in her name which safely resided tens of  thousands of dollars.

Prosecutors are also seeking tens of thousands of dollars in fines.

The lawsuit seeks to have the couple pay $11,000 in fines for each false claim the couple made.

The U.S. attorney’s office declined to comment on whether criminal charges are forthcoming.

Source:

USA Today

Housing Fair in Norway Maine

Officials from MaineHousing will hold a housing fair Dec. 8 for landlords and tenants of Section 8 housing at the Norway town office.

No DSS. Advertisement for a house in Bungay, S...
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Representatives from AVESTA, the firm that handles Section 8 housing for MaineHousing, will be attending.

Thursday’s housing fair will be held in two parts. From 6 to 7 p.m., there will be an opportunity for landlords who may have apartment vacancies to learn more about Section 8 and to get more information on the housing program from MaineHousing.

From 7 to 8 p.m. there will be a “meet and greet” for tenants and landlords.

For more information, call MaineHousing at 626-4600.

New Haven Slumlords collecting rent while property is in deliberate foreclosure

And in another entry for the Slumlord of the Year awards are Janet Dawson and Michael Steinbach.

Apparently these two “lovely” people were and still are collecting Section 8 rent  from the Housing Authority of New Haven (HANH) while neglecting to pay their mortgages on the properties.

And if they aren’t paying the mortgages, well, you know that upkeep on the building is a thing of the past.

Yet, in October alone, almost $80,000 was paid to the pair’s various corporate entities for 73 of their properties.

The New Haven Independent reports that they investigated 5 of the hundreds of properties owned by the pair and found that they had taken out mortgages ten times the value of the property and never paid a dime while still collecting rent from their tenants, most of whom were Section 8 tenants

And did I mention that they are still receiving said subsidies and will likely continue to do so until the foreclosure procedures are completed.

What conditions are the tenants living in?

One property was cited by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development for Section 8 properties for rotted sinks, broken glass, holes in the walls and ceilings, and entire floors in need of replacement.

All five of the properties examined by the Independent failed multiple Section 8 health and safety inspections.

By where were the HUD inspectors in all of this.

I’m thinking somebody’s getting fired.

Hope to you got enough kickback to live off of!

Resource:

WatchDog New England

New Haven Independent

Lackawanna closes waiting list for the first time

In a bow to the sluggish economy, the Lackawanna housing authority has closed its waiting list for the first time in recent history.

As recently as foru years ago, the public housing  had over 200 units vacant.

MUNICH, GERMANY - JANUARY 20: Passenger wait a...

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The current waiting  list already has about 1700 families and individuals.

Lackawanna Housing will continue to accept applications in two limited categories – from victims of federally declared natural disasters and from families displaced by fire or government condemnation of their homes.

Resource:

The Time-Tribune

Bad landlords attract bad tenants

Researchers initially analyzed police calls for service to determine whether residents in Section 8 housing in Middletown, Ohio, required a disproportionate amount of police resources.

A study in Middletown, Ohio, found more than half of the calls for police service occurred from just 10 percent of rental properties.

Kathleen Gallagher, a doctoral student at the University of Cincinnati, examined calls for police service from apartment complexes, rental units, extended-stay hotels/motels and shopping centers in several Ohio communities to identify geographic areas most in need of assistance.

“Several owners had high numbers of properties with Section 8 tenants and with crime, but we found that these owners also had high crime properties without Section 8 tenants,” Gallagher said in a statement.

“This suggested that the property owners themselves might have created or allowed environments where offenders felt comfortable committing crime.”

In other words, problem landlords seemed to be the root of the problem, not whether residents were using Section 8 housing vouchers or not, Gallagher said.

Gallagher presented the research at the American Society of Criminology meeting in Washington.

Source:

Landlords, not tenants key to police calls

Dear LandLords, No You Cannot Evict, Signed The U.S. Supreme Court

I can completely understand a landlord wanting to raise the rent.

Especially when his cost of operation goes up.

However, when you cannot just evict tenants so that you can replace them with tenants willing to pay more.

Or so says the United States Supreme Court.

How did this issue with Section 8 Landlords reach the U.S. Supreme Court?

Supreme Court of the United States Seal

Image by DonkeyHotey via Flickr

Well,  back in 2005, the owners of Park Village Apartments, at 3761 Park Boulevard Way in Oakland California wanted to evict Section 8 tenants after their contract with HUD expired.

Did the tenants roll over and take this?
Nope.
They went the American way and sued.

What did the Housing Authority have to say about the landlords decision?

Apparently, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development saw nothing wrong with it. In fact, they approved the owners’ request in 2008 and the owners then promptly rejected 15 tenants’ rental assistance agreements and filed eviction notices.

And the issue made it all the way to the USSC.

Yep, these 15 low-income, elderly citizens made it all the way to the Supreme Court to state their case…and won!

Lower courts had agreed with them but the battle raged on for the receivers of federal housing aid.

The evictions were put on hold by U.S. District Judge Saundra Brown Armstrong in 2010 and the case was settled in favor of the tenants just this month of November 2011, almost 2 years later.

So, what is the big deal?

The big deal is for every one, now just tenants of Section 8.

A law on the books since 2000 states that you cannot be evicted as long as you keep paying your rent and give the landlord no other cause to evict you.

And, just like these tenants, you can take that to court!

Galveston TX Section 8 Housing List Opening

Many families have yet to recover from the disaster that was Hurricane Ike back in 2008.

NEDERLAND, TX - SEPTEMBER 13: (EDITORS NOTE: I...

Image by Getty Images via @daylife

So it comes as a relief to the nearly 1000 families that they will continue to receive assistance when the Disaster Housing Program (DHAP) was set to expire in January 2012.

In fact, their entire futures will be a tad more settled as the DHAP will transition to the Housing Choice Voucher.

Residents have the choice to switch to the housing voucher program or to apply for a public housing space when a proposed mixed-income development is completed

While the program is primarily for those families in the Disaster Housing Assistance Program, other  needy families can apply for Section 8 rental assistance when the waiting list for the program opens this week.

The Galveston Housing Authority manages more than 1,000 families in the Section 8 program, and the transition will add another 970 families into the federal program overseen by the housing authority.

The waiting list will open today at 7 am through Friday at 7 pm.

Families can apply online at www.ghatx.org/hcvwl or visit the Island Community Center, 4700 Broadway.

Applicants must have birth dates and Social Security information for each member of the household.

Resource:

Galveston Daily News