Why are social services attacked?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by nbs2, Oct 1, 2007.

  1. nbs2 macrumors 68030

    nbs2

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    #1
    I don't know if this is just an example of of the problems or an isolated incident, but why should I have to pay market rates in the DC area when these folks are getting subsidized?

    Even more disturbing is the response from the county housing officials.
     
  2. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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    #2
    Any program needs to be well designed and well monitored. I'd say it's to some degree an isolated incident, but it's also a general problem that programs intended to help disadvantaged groups often help those among those groups who are least disadvantaged. Personally, I believe that's a flaw in the design of the program, not with the intent of the program.
     
  3. Queso macrumors G4

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    #3
    It's certainly a complicated issue, because a family that exceeds the income cap may only do so temporarily. What then? If they were forced out of their home thanks to one good year what do they do when their income goes back below the threshold? Join the back of the waiting list?

    Circumstances change. It would probably be far fairer if the properties were open to all with rents set at market rates. Subsidies of various level would then be available to those who could prove they earned below a certain income for a given period, with eligibility for the subsidy re-evaluated every six months to a year. However, I don't agree with kicking people out of their homes and forcing them to move on because they've improved their circumstances through hard work. It removes the incentive for them to work their way up in the first place.
     
  4. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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    #4
    The only problem is what about people who know that they are moving up? Like someone who doesn't make a ton of money but is getting a huge trust fund next year? Or a couple with one person working and the other in graduate school about to go on to big bucks? That's kind of cheating the system, getting in while you're "poor" even though in essence you're rich.
     
  5. Queso macrumors G4

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    #5
    Changing the system from location based to income based would remove that discrepancy within a few months of the extra cash arriving, since the subsidy to their rent would be removed. Yeah they'd get a bit of a short-term bonus, but it wouldn't be there indefinitely as with at present.
     
  6. nbs2 thread starter macrumors 68030

    nbs2

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    #6
    While the issue is complex, it is moments like this that garner publicity and affect public opinion. When each individual reaches the point of "too many flaws", they can't help but be dissatisfied with the system.

    I agree that booting someone after one good year may be risky, but should they get to keep their spot in the housing line (or their earmark) at the expense of the family that hasn't had a good year?

    I like your income based model much more than the current location based system, but I think that community level pressure may be enough to keep it from ever being implemented. Everybody wants to help the poor - nobody wants to deal with them.

    The only reservation that I might have with your system, though, is similar to the problem with any system - limited funds. Do you reevaluate everybody at the same time? If so, that is a massive amount of overhead - more than spreading it out. But, when the review is spread out, the early reviews are more likely to have money in the pot and thus more likely to receive benefits. With a limited level of funds, how do you make sure that the neediest receive? Additionally, what happens to Family X that is just on the poor side of the line? When those with more have a bad year, do the Xs lose their subsidy because there just isn't enough money to go around?

    Like I said, I like your idea more than the current system, but either way, it seems as though the system needs to be blown up. In major markets, especially, it's just too expensive for the support system to live there. The three wealthiest counties in the DC area (Fairfax, Montgomery, and Howard) are all trying to formulate plans that will make it viable for their teachers, cops, etc. to live in the county where they work. Right now, it just isn't possible.
     
  7. Swarmlord macrumors 6502a

    Swarmlord

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    #7
    And they wonder why those of us that end up paying the bills feel fleeced.
     
  8. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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    #8
    Don't just complain. Suggest an improvement to the system.
     
  9. CorvusCamenarum macrumors 65816

    CorvusCamenarum

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    #9
    I had that exact same thought when I was driving home from work tonight and saw a Circuit City truck delivering a high-end television to a residence in our lovely government housing authority. One would think that if you can afford $1000 or so for a toy then you can afford to pay your own rent.
     
  10. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #10
    When I worked for the Seattle Public Housing Authority the residents were supposed to pay based on income. It was hard to enforce some rules when they kept reducing our funding while increasing the rules, but I can assure you, at least up there, this is the exception not the rule. You have to wait for a long time after getting on the list, then go through a long process, to even get an apt, then can get kicked out fairly quickly for almost anything. We have seen some nice cars parked there, even some purchased after they've moved in, and I'd believe the TV thing. I often wondered if some of that money came from :ahem: non taxable income. But that doesn't mean there are some really needy people out there. It just needs better oversight.

    And don't forget, these people aren't getting free rent. They have to pay. Sometimes they pay almost as much as anyone else would. It's the building that's subsided, non-profit, not the people.
     
  11. imac/cheese macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    I agree with solvs. My experience with the housing authority is that the people that apply often have to wait 6 months or more before being able to get a place. These are not luxury places by any means and these people still pay what rent they can afford. Yes, there are those that abuse the system, but most of the people that are there are struggling to make ends meet.
     
  12. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

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    #12
    like others have said it very hard to police public housing because funding is getting cut. No matter what rules they make people will always find a way to abuse the system. It a matter of finding a balance between rules to keep the ones who abuse the system out and still making it possible for those who need it to be able to do access it.

    Lastly why the hell would some one want to live in public housing if they can afford to live else where. I honestly would not want to live in public housing since crime rate in the area will be higher because of the lower income. Plus the housing is really really crummy. I would want to know why some one would want to live in public housing.
     
  13. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #13
    Quality of life has little to do with quality of housing. Living in an area of public housing can be remarkably stress-free.
     
  14. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #14
    You must not be from around here.
     
  15. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #15
    Possibly not.
     
  16. Iscariot macrumors 68030

    Iscariot

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    #16
    We carry Skunk with us everywhere -- as long as we keep him in our heart.
     
  17. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #17
    Funny thing is, you don't feel fleeced by waste and fraud on the corporate end.

    For some reason, people like you only tend to hate waste and fraud when poor people do it.
     
  18. nbs2 thread starter macrumors 68030

    nbs2

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    #18
    Except the problem is that most of these folks aren't poor. If your taxable income, even for one year, is in the six figures, you're doing way better than I've (or most of us have) ever done.

    What surprises me is that people like you are willing to excuse the former poor while the still poor have to wait in line.:rolleyes:
     
  19. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #19
    No one is excusing the waste. We're just saying we shouldn't throw out the whole program because of a small amount of abuse. These people are breaking the terms of their contracts and should be dealt with. Ironically, because of the lack of funding for these projects, oversight it harder. They should be kicked out on their asses so the real people who need it can get in, no one is arguing that.
     

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