3 Days to Pay rent or Quit


root - Posted on 07 June 2004

Bush plans to gut the Section 8 program

by Tiny/ POOR Magazine/PoorNewsNetwork

3 days to pay rent or quit , Unlawful detainer for non-payment off rent, Judgement for back rent, homeless shelters and then the Sidewalk Motel, these places and spaces were constants in my vocabulary throughout my childhood. In a capitalist society like Amerikkka the fact that you don't have enough money for rent is enough reason for you to become homeless.

Of course there are many other reasons that people become homeless, such as gentrification, greedy landlords, racism, redlining, and on and on.. many of which my family and I have experienced, but none so clearly as the inability due to poverty to pay the rent. If everything went ok , if doctor bills weren't too high, if I was able to make any money at my part-time micro-business, if I was able to get work that didn't interfere with my care-giving of family if the utilities didn't run too high, If ..if,if if then the rent would be happily handed over to the landlord

So sometimes the rent was paid and sometimes it wasn't and when it wasn't we were outside, served with the pleasureable farewell of the requisite eviction, unlawful detainer and all other related paperwork of poverty.

And then one day a miracle happened, or at least a miracle within this capitalist reality, We got a section 8 voucher. Now come to find out the whole section 8 thing is no easy deal when the landlords equate Section 8 with tired old stereotypes of folk on welfare (I've been that too!) but notwithstanding that classist hurdle, it is still pretty wonderful, allowing hundreds of thousands of poor families across the nation to become homeful when they used to be homeless. Enabling my family to actually pay the rent is in fact, some form of a miracle, or at least economic justice.

The Bush Administration was alarmed at the rising cost of Section 8 vouchers and will take steps to make sure that no more are issued In Bushs'budget for 2005 he is planning to rein in domestic spending i.e. steal from poor folks to feed his endless war machine (87 billion approved for more war costs) Among other things he aims to make veterans pay more for health care, eliminate job training and employment programs but worse of all, make cuts to the already meager section 8 voucher program. Now a lot of us economic justice organizers have been worried about the gutting of the Section 8 program ever since Bush got in office. The amazing part of these proposed cuts is the fact that Bushs alarm at so many vouchers being issued is due in large part to HUD's gentrification program ordered by the federal government which began in the 90's and included the demolition of several thousand units of so-called blighted project housing causing thousands of new families to rely on section 8 vouchers after they were evicted from their long time residences.

So what to do, once again it is urgent that you write to your local legislator be they roll over demican or republicrat as well as Bushs office and express your horror at the proposed cuts to Section 8. If we don't argue, fight and scream the sad fact is families like mine will once again face housing instability forever and ever

To read more about the roots of homelessness and gentrification get a copy of The Houzin Project Words, Art and Resources on eviction, gentrification and homelessness published by POOR Press -you can buy a copy on-line by clicking on the POOR Press button

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