On 11-15-2016 the U.S. Dept. of Urban Development released its Final Rule 16-173, “Establishing a More Effective Fair Market Rent System; Using Small Area Fair Market Rents in the Housing Choice Voucher Program Instead of the Current 50th Percentile FMRs.” This change requires Boca Raton and twenty-three other metropolitan areas to implement a new ZIP-code based approach—replacing the metropolitan area approach—to calculate the Section 8 maximum rental assistance for private-sector housing of Section 8 voucher holders starting in 1-2017. Consequently, more lower-income people will receive greater subsidies to move into higher-rent housing and neighborhoods. This change did not require Congressional approval.
Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher works by requiring tenants to pay thirty percent of their adjusted monthly income toward rent, and the Federal Government supplies the balance due of the rent so the landlord receives a fair market rent. Establishing a local fair market rent determines the amount of government rent subsidy available to a tenant.
ZIP-codes provide smaller geographical areas than larger metropolitan area designations, so H.U.D. Fair Market Rents (FMR) can vary greatly within a city. Boca Raton has eight zip codes, so up to eight different FMRs could be established for Section 8 to provide different maximum levels of subsidies. With the higher amounts of subsidies available, a tenant can move into more expensive housing. At the same time, this will also reduce subsidies in lower-rent areas, encouraging people to relocate to the higher-rent areas with their greater subsidies. The new subsidies will also cover utilities. Moreover, government “mobility counselors” will help the Section 8 recipients find the more expensive housing in the new neighborhoods.
The 2016 example of Washington, D.C. illustrates the major change of the subsidy amount. For the old entire metropolitan area, Fair Market Rent for a two-bedroom apartment was $1623, but the new rule will raise it to $2420 in some ZIP codes. Thus, the monthly rent subsidy would increase by $797 in those smaller areas, enabling poorer people to move into the wealthier neighborhoods.
Since these federal programs can only be implemented and enforced with the complicity of local and state governments, H.U.D. has intimidated more. In 4-2016, H.U.D. Secretary Julian Castro threatened to sue suburban landlords for discrimination if they refuse Section 8 tenants with criminal records. In 2015 Castro implemented the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing regulation that pressures suburban counties taking federal grant money to change local zoning laws to build more low-income housing.
This aspect of social engineering by “spreading the wealth around”—financed by our tax money—will relocate more inner-city poor and gang members into affluent suburbs, as has happened in “demonstration projects” of the last two decades. In 1994 a H.U.D. program moved thousands of African-Americans from government projects to safer, less racially segregated counties across the U.S. with greater Section 8 vouchers. Those people did not get better jobs or get off welfare; more went on food stamps and their children did not do better in their new schools. Increased crime followed them, and Dubuque, IA experienced crime waves directly linked to the Section 8 housing.
A similar program tested several years ago in Dallas coincided with the shift of violent crime to affluent neighborhoods. 2012 began the increase of housing subsidies. Frisco, Plano, and McKinney, TX had the most Section 8 transfers and also unprecedented increases in rapes, assaults, break-ins, and home invasions.
Even Chappaqua, NY in Westchester County fights Section 8 housing due to its links to drugs and crime.
This major policy shift will have broad implications, affecting everything from crime to property values. If Boca Raton government accepts this program, its safe neighborhoods will also be destroyed by crime, more drugs, the poverty culture, and school deterioration. So far, most city councilmen, the mayor, and candidates for the 3-2017 election have failed to respond to warnings about what the federal government plans to impose.
Judicial Watch, 11-21-2016, http://www.judicialwatch.org/blog/2016/11/hud-gives-poor-rent-money-live-higher-opportunity-areas-lower-poverty/