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Fix Section 8 and landlords will step up

Public HousingChicago Housing AuthorityInternal Revenue ServiceSection 8 (housing)

Recent letters to the editor have focused on the reality that people deserving of Section 8 assistance need more landlords to open up their homes and apartments to Section 8 so that the housing poor will more quickly and easily obtain the housing that they need.

Yes, deserving people need more quality housing to be available. Landlords have the housing. Responsible landlords appreciate stable sources of income. Section 8 has housing money. Just why shouldn't we encourage Section 8 personnel to be neutral, helpful and just honestly follow the regulations and always work fairly with honest landlords?

Letter writer Tom Karle implies that I am lying and irresponsible as a landlord ("Section 8 is no burden to landlords," May 29th). That does nothing to help open up more housing.

I experienced firsthand the loss of two weeks Section 8 rental income over a busted plastic knob on a range. That recounting was not a lie. It was the result of human error by the inspector or a failure of judgment on his part. And it did result in lost income.

Bureaucratic theory is usually balanced in principle but then damaged once it hits the road of real life.

Section 8 is a bureaucracy, subject to personal interpretations and applications of rules by human beings on a day to day basis. On the functional level, we simply see that it is occasionally neutral in the same way that the Internal Revenue Service is neutral, as demonstrated by the IRS' recent targeting of conservative groups.

We need more Section 8 housing to be available, and one prime avenue to opening up more housing is to make it a fair and profitable situation for honest landlords.

James W. Gatton, Rosedale

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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