Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Section 8 'Welcome' Signs Cause Stir

The whole story here is worth reading for property profs - it's a tale of landlord/tenant, zoning, & neighborhood associations, and it features some great quotes from guest blogger Chris Odinet:

“Section 8 Welcome” is not a sign one might expect to see in the desirable Southdowns neighborhood, with its streets lined with stately oak trees and well-manicured lawns. But last week, property manager Steve Myers, who owns about 50 properties in the 70808 ZIP code, put out targeted ads in front of some of his Southdowns rental properties advertising to low-income residents. Section 8 refers to a federal housing voucher program, offering rent payment assistance for private housing based on income levels and family composition.

The signs didn’t last long. The three he put out last week were stolen or torn apart within 24 hours, Myers said.

[...] Paul Naquin, a member of the Southside Civic Association, has been a longtime critic of Myers and has assisted the city-parish in filing lawsuits against the landlord by compiling evidence that he was renting to unrelated people. “We don’t want our neighborhood downgraded,” said Naquin, who said he was speaking as an individual homeowner and not on behalf of the civic association. “I’m sure there are some good people involved in Section 8 — but it’s not what we’re used to in the neighborhoods.” Naquin softened his comments since an interview last week on radio station WRFK’s “Jim Engster Show,” in which he stated he and other Southdowns residents do not want poor people in their neighborhood because they are more likely to commit crime.

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