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Minimum income requirements continue to exclude the poor from affordable housing projects

by Lynda Carson (newzland2 [at] gmail.com)
Public Housing Is Being Privatized By So-Called Nonprofit Affordable Housing Developers, And Turned Into So-Called Affordable Housing Projects That Exclude The Poorest Of The Poor With Minimum Income Requirements!
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Minimum income requirements continue to exclude the poor from affordable housing projects

By Lynda Carson - August 13, 2022

Oakland - The recent July 28, 2022, annual Out of Reach report from the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) reveals that Americans who are working a full-time job at the applicable federal, state, or local minimum wage throughout the United States cannot afford the estimated rent for two-bedroom modest housing at fair market value (FMR) anywhere throughout the country during 2022.

With the demise and privatization of public housing units across the nation, there is much less available housing for the poor who have no income at all, or only earn the minimum wage, or SSI, or CalWorks in California.

Additionally, it’s not difficult to understand why the unhoused and homeless population in Oakland, the Bay Area, and California keeps growing as many so-called nonprofit affordable housing organizations have “minimum income requirements” that continue to exclude many of the poor from their so-called affordable housing projects.

Comparing Public Housing With So-Called Affordable Housing:

According to a HUD website, to be eligible for public housing, a tenant or household is required to pay a “minimum of $25.00 per month for rent”, or as much as $50.00 per month for rent, depending on the rules of the Public Housing Authority (PHA) that owns the public housing units they reside in. There are around 3,400 PHAs across the nation, managing around 1.3 million units of public housing.

In comparison, so-called affordable housing projects owned by nonprofit housing developers often have “minimum income requirements” that may range as high as 2.5 times the monthly rent of the rental unit, or higher in many locations. The tenants or households who do not meet the “minimum income requirements,” are being excluded from those so-called affordable housing projects.

Some so-called affordable housing projects have a “minimum income requirement” of $42,000 or more per year to reside in their rental units, which is much higher than the $19,370 per year, that the average person on Social Security receives annually.

In other words, many seniors and persons with disabilities are being excluded from so-called affordable housing projects because they do not meet the “minimum income requirements” that many affordable housing projects require.

In San Francisco during July of 2022, TL Residences studio apartments managed by Bridge Housing wants $962 per month for a studio apartment, but they have a “minimum income requirement” of $1,924 per month for the tenant, which amounts to $23,088 per year, which is higher than the $19,370 per year, that the average person on Social Security receives annually.

AVA Knob Hill in San Francisco owned by Avalon Communities wants $1,166 for a studio apartment, but the tenant is required to have a “minimum income requirement” of $27,984 per year.

At Avalon at the Mission, they want $1,496 for a studio apartment, but they have a “minimum income requirement” of $35,904 per year for the tenant.

At Martin Luther Tower in San Francisco, managed by the John Stewart Company, studio apartments go for $1,450-$1,918 per month, but they have a “minimum income requirement” of $34,800 per year.

Yerba Buena Gardens in San Francisco, has a studio apartment going for $1,279 per month in July, but they have a minimum income requirement of $28,000 per year, which is way higher than the $19,370 per year that the average person on Social Security receives annually.

The Knox SRO in San Francisco, managed by the John Stewart Company has studio apartments for $772 per month, but they have a minimum income requirement of $1,544 per month.

Ashby Courts Apartments in Berkeley, owned or managed by SAHA Homes, has a minimum income requirement of $22,680 per year.

As for a few more examples during August 2022, The Altenheim (senior housing project) in Oakland owned by Eden Housing, has a “minimum income requirement” that is 2.5 times the rent. Las Palmas, family housing project in San Leandro, owned by Eden Housing, has a minimum income requirement that is 2.5 times the rent. And The Surf affordable housing project in San Leandro, owned by Eden Housing, also has a minimum income requirement that is 2.5 times the rent, excluding many poor households from the project as a result.

Emerald Estates in Oakland owned by the East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation (EBALDC) requires prospective tenants that they must meet a “minimum income requirement” of $42,857, to be eligible to reside there.

Eastlake Apartments in Oakland owned by EBALDC has a one bedroom unit for $1,541 per month, but they have a minimum income requirement of $44,029 per year.

Kensington Gardens in Oakland, owned by EBALDC has studio apartments for $1,438 per month, but they have a minimum income requirement of $41,086 per year for a tenant to rent the studio apartment.

In contrast, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the average Social Security retirement benefit in January 2022 was about $1,614 per month, or about $19,370 per year. (The average disabled worker and aged widow received slightly less.)

As a result, many seniors and persons with disabilities continue to be excluded from so-called affordable housing units because they do not make enough to meet the minimum income requirements.

Waiting Lists Opening For Subsidized Housing Programs:

If interested, the Project-Based Voucher (PVB) waiting lists in Contra Costa County for seniors are currently still open until 4:00PM, on September 29, 2022. Click here for more information.

According to Affordable Housing On-Line, as of August 12th 2022, there are 19 Section 8 waiting lists that are open now, opening soon, or always open in California.

As an example, the Yolo County, CA Section 8 HCV Waiting List opens https://www.ych.ca.gov/ on August 22nd, 2022 at 1:00pm.

For those willing to move out of state.

Additional out of state waiting lists for subsidized affordable housing programs may be found by clicking here.

As another example, the City of Roanoke Redevelopment and Housing Authority (RRHA) in West Virginia, is soon to open it’s waiting list for the Housing Choice Voucher Program a.k.a. Section 8 Housing Voucher waitlist for low-income tenants seeking subsidized housing vouchers to help pay for the rental needs.

According to the website for RRHA, “RRHA’S HOUSING CHOICE VOUCHER/SECTION 8 WAITLIST WILL BE OPENING ON MONDAY, AUGUST 15, 2022 AT 8:30AM THROUGH FRIDAY, AUGUST 19, 2022 AT 5:00PM. DETAILS CAN BE FOUND HERE.”

Additionally, in Mobile Alabama, the Mobile Housing Authority is getting ready to open its public housing waiting lists to new applicants. Starting Monday, Aug. 15, at 9 a.m., waiting lists will open for three housing communities: Gulf Village Homes, Oaklawn Homes (two and three bedrooms only) and Emerson Gardens (Senior Citizens, ages 62 and older). The organization states if you require specific accommodations to apply, contact cdickinson [at] mobilehousing.org. To apply, visit the Mobile Housing Authority’s website by clicking here.

As public housing units continue to be privatized, and so-called nonprofit housing developers continue to demand “minimum income requirements” at their so-called affordable housing projects that are more than what seniors with Social Security receive annually, the future looks very bleak for seniors and baby boomers who need a place to live. Baby boomers were born between 1946 and 1964. They're currently between 57-75 years old (71.6 million in the U.S.)

Our nation needs more low-income housing and public housing units that do not exclude the poor with minimum income requirements, like the so-called affordable housing units do that are owned by the so-called nonprofit housing developers.

-Lynda Carson may be reached at newzland2 [at] gmail.com

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§Correction: Public Housing Minimum Rent Hardship Exemptions
by Lynda Carson
Correction: Public Housing Minimum Rent Hardship Exemptions

Minimum Rent Hardship Exemptions. PHAs have flexibility to establish a minimum rent between $0 and $50 for the Public Housing and Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) programs. For other Section 8 programs, such as project based rental assistance, HUD regulations set the minimum rent at $25 per month.

Click below for more details...

https://www.hud.gov/sites/dfiles/PIH/documents/PH_HCV_reducing_back_rent_accrual_factsheet.pdf

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