Public housing was created originally to provided safe and decent rental homes for those families living under the poverty level. Public housing falls under an umbrella of many categories. Types of options within public housing consist of vouchers, multifamily houses, apartments, and large public housing units run within local communities where many families stay within close living quarters. To be qualified for public housing you must meet certain income limits, report regularly with what you are earning, and all changes made to your earnings.
Income limits are set by our government every year and change frequently with our economic shift. Although public housing deems a safe and comfortable living situations for those who qualify and need it. It presents many problems for both its residents and those other in these communities. Public housing has many reported cons, reported by those living in public housing, bystanders, and landlords to those living in section 8 or subsidized multifamily housing units. It is because of these cons that we think public housing should reconsider where some of their funds are going. With this being said with how much money that does go into public housing and all the upkeep that comes with it.
There are other options to make public housing as a whole more successful, safer, and better for those in our community living in public housing. As well as those in our community who are not living in public housing. Every community could benefit from some changes to public housing, whether it be the location, property maintenance, or choice of the landlord. Some detrimental changes could be made to sharpen the living arrangements that many within our community are staying in. The housing shortage has been a prominent issue in public housing.
The number of public housing units has fallen by more than 250,000 since the mid-1990’s (Policy Basics: Public Housing 2017). This is mainly because of housing agencies having demolished or otherwise removed units from stock, due to deterioration resulting from long-term underfunding and other factors. Only a small number of the removed units have been replaced with new public housing. HUD indicated that in 2009 only 32 units of adequate and affordable rental housing were available for every 100 very-low-income renters. This scarcity was worst in central cities and suburbs. HUD also noted that the major causes of the increases in worst-case needs among very-low-income renters were shrinking incomes due to unemployment, a growing lack of federal rental assistance, and competition for affordable units (Demand for Rental Housing at New High).
Factors at the local level can also impact the development of affordable housing. In some cities, new development requires a referendum and voter approval. Community concerns about growth, density and preserving the character of an area may affect local development. Project opponents can use the environmental permitting process and litigation to limit or stop a project. Units offered in many public housing facilities often lack modernization are over 30 years old. Approximately half of all public housing units qualify as “severely distressed.
” Distressed properties may have non-functional or outdated appliances and significant damage that negatively impacts the residents’ quality of life. The inadequacy of supply increases dramatically as one moves down the ladder of family earnings. The challenge is most acute for rental housing in high-cost areas, and the most extreme problem is for the very poor.
The severe shortage of affordable housing means that many low-income people and families constantly face the threat of homelessness, and the problem is not getting better (Demand for Rental Housing at New High). Property maintenance can be a massive disadvantage, whether it be within a small multifamily subsidized home, massive public housing units, or small apartment. From leaky pipes, mold even houses with no heat (Segal, E. 2016). All of these issues can happen within a public housing unit. In bigger public housing units where there are many people staying in their own separate apartments. Numerous issues can arise some more important than others that can take precedence over some of the smaller issues.
This being said you could file a work order, and it could not be tended to for weeks. These types of buildings don’t have enough property maintenance workers to accommodate the demand for these issues to be fixed. Most of the time a tenant can put in over 4 or 5 work orders before property maintenance even comes to fix their issue. The government pays these workers and the lack of funding makes it so these units can only afford to hire minimal people for the upkeep of these already run down buildings. With issues such as mold or other toxins, such tenets looking for these issues to be fixed could be at the risk of getting sick (Segal, E.
2016). Serious illnesses such as this could cause them to take time off of work and could cause these people to go jobless. While very rare such situations could arise. This lack of property maintenance can cause the living conditions of any form of public housing to be disgusting and sometimes unlivable to those who are obtaining the space. In many cities, affordable housing has a problem: it’s not affordable. The number of renters that pay more than 30 percent of their income toward housing, has reached record levels.
In 2014, more than 21 million households, half of all renter households nationwide were cost burdened, and more than a quarter was severely cost burdened, paying more than 50 percent of their income toward housing, with a significant portion of these households being families with children (Demand for Rental Housing at New High). Younger renters under 25 years of age and seniors are experiencing higher cost burdens compared with other age groups. The number of cost-burdened renters has been high in past years, but the affordability crisis is increasingly afflicting moderate-income households.
According to HUD, “Twenty-one percent of renter households with incomes from $45,000 to $74,999 were cost burdened in 2014, compared with 12 percent in 2001″(Demand for Rental Housing at New High). Reports indicate that part of the reason for increased cost burdens is that while rents have spiked nationwide, incomes of renter households, particularly those that have the lowest earnings, have declined or shown minimum growth. Extremely impoverished people who do not own their housing and can barely afford to pay their housing costs can only afford to stay in the worst housing. Of all house people, they are the ones closest to being forced to homelessness. The number of renters who experienced these worst-case housing needs jumped from 5.9 million to 7.1 million in only 2 years (Homelessness 2017).
This rise in hardship is due to shrinking incomes and upward pressure on rents caused by growing competition for already scarce affordable units. The existing supply of affordable housing in this historically tight market has been insufficient to meet the demand (Demand for Rental Housing at New High). The social stigma of safety within the public housing is that it isn’t safe at all. These units are typically in a location where those who in which surround it are also others living in severe poverty. If the goal of public housing is to be giving those with low incomes a “better” and “safer” place to stay than on the streets.
But we are placing them in areas that could be worse than the living situations that they had before moving to these units (Segal, E. 2016). Yet here we are still putting them in situations that could be an utmost concern to the safety of their families. With this being said these areas hold a higher risk of crime rates. Relating to gangs, drugs, alcohol, and violence. Many of these people are categorized to be “societies worst people”, and fall under the social stigma of being horrible individuals. We are almost punishing those who are already living in poverty by putting them in a higher stressed powered environment. Referring to blaming the victim ideology, it’s almost like we are blaming those who need government assistance for even asking for it in the first place.
We are putting them in high-stress environments, impoverished areas, locations further from job access, areas with more violence, crime and exposure to drugs (Segal, E. 2016). Putting them in houses, apartments, housing units, that are simply old run down and extremely under maintenance. With this social stigma also over there heads, it can deem hard for those living in these areas to hold solid relationships with those unable to understand their current living situation.
Children living in these unsafe areas can find mentors and role models to those who are involved in gangs and can get wrapped up in a life they never originally wanted for themselves.In addition to increasing public subsidies and funding programs, stakeholders should rethink regulatory barriers, such as zoning policies that restrict the construction of multifamily and other density affordable housing options. One solution to increase affordable housing that has proven effective is inclusionary zoning. Inclusionary zoning programs require developers to provide affordable units as part of new residential developments. Some localities offset the costs to developers by allowing them to build at higher densities or offering other subsidies and incentives (Demand for Rental Housing at New High).
It has been observed that inclusionary zoning is an important regulatory tool for local government. There is a high level of unmet needs, it is vital to preserve the nations already existing stock of affordable rental housing in addition to promoting new construction. The preservation of public housing is significantly cheaper than building new housing. Maintaining the affordability of units with expiring subsidies and, in particular, preserving two- to four-unit buildings, which are a critical source of affordable rental housing in many communities would be more cost efficient. Another solution would be to retrofit affordable housing with energy-efficient upgrades that could generate cost savings and free up capital for maintenance and repairs (Demand for Rental Housing at New High). Other approaches suggested would be to meet the demand for rental housing include, boosting the home-buying power of low- and moderate-income families with stable incomes and the ability to sustain homeownership by providing them with down-payment assistance and helping them improve their credit scores and increase their savings, which would free up rentals for other households (Demand for Rental Housing at New High).
Public housing was established to provide decent and safe rental housing for eligible low income families, the elderly, and person with disabilities. While the availability of state housing programs is a necessity for these individuals, public housing complexes present problems for both residents and the community. The piecemeal approach can leave gaps in services and a lack of coordination, leaving many without needed assistance. Funding can be inadequate because of the reluctance of states to contribute, relying only on federal funds instead. The reliance on residual approaches results in programs that are often inadequate in coverage, funding, and support services. Emphasis is placed on responding to poverty once it has occured little is done preventively to address the factors that might lead to poverty in the first place.
Demographic trends and economic conditions will continue to escalate the demand for rental housing over the next decade, and a range of housing options in diverse settings will be needed to meet the needs of households across the age and income spectrums. A combination of regulatory tools, public subsidies, and policies promoting homeownership are needed to tackle the rental housing challenges facing the nation.