Since it’s inception in 1937 through the Fair Housing Act and the formal induction as a member of the Presidents Cabinet in 1965 as the Housing and Urban Development Department this agency has been increasingly become the most controversial Federal social program. Recent studies have confirmed what has long been commonly acknowledged that crime has escalated to historic highs within the nations public housing sector. Not only has crime been skyrocketing so has the governments budget allotment for Section 8 recipients. In 1994 HUD dispersed over 7 billion dollars. Today, the government hands out over 20 billion dollars to Section 8 recipients. Individuals under Section 8 pay 30% of rent while the government pays the balance of 70%. At the rate of increases in which more individuals seek subsidies and are granted Section 8 Under the HUD program the United States government budget for disbursement will only deepen the national debt.
In no other time in recent history has a governmental agency been so acutely affected by the economic crisis that only continues to draw more people to seek assistance. But, with this influx comes more criminal activity associated with those who receive Section 8 funding within the Housing and Urban Development program. In 1990 statistics have proved that crime is more than ten times the national average within Public Housing. All the government did in response was to hand out vouchers to residents in those infested housing projects [authorized under Section 8 of the Housing and community Development act of 1974] so that they would be able to move to safer and more affluent neighborhoods. All this did was to put the government deeper in debt. In every case where these individuals have moved to to escape those housing projects that have become havens for criminal activity the government picked up taps that increased by more than 80%. An example of how costly this has become in the Stamford-Norwalk Conn. area rental subsidies cost over $2,700 per month. In other areas around the country rental subsidies are even higher.
For all the extra cost incurred by the United States government in the relocation of public housing residents to less affected more upscale neighborhoods continues to fail to weed out the criminal element that is associated and more prone to infest practically all of the nations public housing projects today. What has actually happened is that crime just relocated with all those who moved to more affluent neighborhoods. It is as though the whole demographics and purpose of the Section 8 program is ripe with fraud, plagued with loopholes and in general defeats the purpose in which the Housing and Urban Development program was originally setup to do. To make matters even worse the unemployment in all urban areas across the United States it is the Afro-Americas that are the hardest hit with unemployment rates by more than 25%. This is one of the reasons why HUD is so inundated with Section 8 applicants and riddled with criminal activity.
The many problems that continue to exist within HUD not one elected official has proposed any meaningful legislation that would effectively make the HUD department more effective, efficient, less costly and with much less criminal activity. Continued granting more vouchers to move to areas that are less infested with crime only shifts criminal activity that has become synonymous with Section 8 recipients to areas that people came to to escape those crime riddled areas.
On going budget cuts in public services such as public education only spurs more criminal activity within our nations youth. Compounding this problem is the fact that employment opportunities still remain very elusive especially for Black Americans who are the majority of Section 8 vouchers. Until the government realizes that not just one quick fix is going to reduce the criminal activity within public housing only the continuation of the same policies will continue. As a result our government will be sending more funding into HUD and wasting more tax dollars trying to combat the escalating criminal activity always so rampant within public housing projects.
This nation can no longer afford to continue on this path of denial and apathy for all those who find themselves applying for Section 8 vouchers or those who are already in public housing. Cabrini Green housing project was such a disaster it had to be demolished. But, the criminal activity that once ran rampant in such housing projects only went to other areas instead. Since then crime has only increased as proportional to the continued high unemployment rates and public educational offerings that have been eliminated. As such the government continues to just keep increasing the funding. Money we actually don’t have.
To actually remedy the current financial disaster and cut down substantially the criminal aspect that is so associated within public housing projects policies have to change. The surest way and the most efficient way is through National Economic Reform. National Economic Reform a most comprehensive and sweeping agenda that will remedy the many crisis that are continuing to keep the United States from actually recovering from the failed policies that contributed to today’s financial and economic disaster. The majority of Americans are faced with unprecedented almost insurmountable problems and concerns. Many are in crisis situations that only deepens the overall economic crisis we are still faced with. This is the biggest and most ambitions undertaking that the United States has undertaken ever since the New Deal and World War II by implementation of National Economic Reform. Only total reform of current policies, Administration Cabinets, laws, and mandates will the United States emerge from the very acute crisis that have placed this country in very grave jeopardy.