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Letter: Response to Proposed Subsidized Housing Legislation

Adam Skolnik, executive director of the Maryland Multi-Housing Association, submitted a response to a blog about Dundalk's high concentration of subsidized renters.

 

Dundalk Patch received the following letter from Adam Skolnik, executive director of the Maryland Multi-Housing Association, in response to a blog about Dundalk's high concentration of subsidized renters:

Dear Mr. Beeler,

I represent owners and managers of 161,000 apartments in the State of Maryland.  We are opposed the source of income laws (mandatory section 8) for a number of reasons.

First and foremost do you honestly believe that the “source of income” that a person makes is the same as the Fair Housing protected classes that Maryland currently recognizes? Following are the national and state protected classes.  Is how you earn your money comparable to skin color, national origin, race or religion?

We are against this law because the regulatory burden imposed if massive.  Should a landlord have a choice if it does not want to deal with Federal, State and Local jurisdictional bureaucracy that directly impacts his or her business?

Did you notice at this meeting that the opposing view was not given the opportunity to refute the claims that this type of law de-concentrates poverty, as a matter of fact we have as much data or more that these laws have little to no effect on the de-concentration of poverty. Is stifling decent really what the United States, Maryland and Baltimore County are really about. We welcome the opportunity to explain this to you and your readers.  Writing an informed blog only adds value to the Patch and its readers.

NATIONAL:

Color:  Pertaining to a person’s skin color Familial Status: Families in which one or more children under 18 live with: a parent; a person who has legal custody of the child or children; or the designee of the parent or legal custodian, with the parent or custodian's written permission.

Familial status protection also applies to pregnant women and anyone securing legal custody of a child under 18.

National Origin: Refers to country of birth.

Physical or Mental Disability:  In reference to you or someone close to you who: has a physical or mental disability (including hearing, mobility and visual impairments, chronic alcoholism, chronic mental illness, AIDS, AIDS-related Complex and mental retardation) that substantially limits one or more major life activities ; has a record of such a disability; or is regarded as having such a disability.

Race: Categories of physical characteristics and/or genetic groupings of human populations.

Religion: Participation with one of the world’s structured religions; one’s spiritual beliefs; inference of religion by place of worship.

Sex: Male or female.

MARYLAND: Includes all federal protections listed above PLUS:

Marital Status:  The state of being single, married, separated, divorced, or widowed.

Sexual Orientation:  The identification of an individual as to male or female homosexuality, heterosexuality, or bisexuality.

Editor's Note: This letter was published in its entirety, as it was received.

Buzz Beeler January 30, 2013 at 05:30 PM
A complex issue with no easy answers. We do know however through studies that too much of Section 8 in a particular community is not good and impacts housing values and crime. The burden of regulations and the resulting debate in this state have strangled many important issues. Many of those issues go unaddressed because of political agendas. I would like to see the Baltimore County Police Department address the correlation of crime and Section 8. I already know the answers but others may be surprised on the negative impact of this topic on the community. The economy is and has been flat for some time and when the feds stop printing money the bottom will fall out impacting many entitlements.
Steve January 30, 2013 at 05:45 PM
LOL Which Studies? There isn't any correlation between the Housing Voucher Program and crime and you know it. You are just using this program in a lame attempt to throw monkey poo at the people that beat you.
Taxed More January 31, 2013 at 01:31 AM
"Affordable" housing - somebody gets something for little or nothing and somebody else pays for their own plus the costs of the person getting it for nothing. Example - I can "afford" a new Rolls Royce if you pay for it for me.
Buzz Beeler January 31, 2013 at 02:02 AM
I think Tiger and Phil Mickelson would agree with you.
Shell9 January 31, 2013 at 02:07 AM
Are you serious when you say that there is no correlation between the housing program and crime? OMGoodness!! I have lived in Dundalk all of my life. I have known many families on section 8. I can say based on my experience that section 8 does lend it self to more shady characters. Our community is saturated, saturated saturated with section 8. Most of the section 8 recipients in this area and Baltimore city who have section 8 have teenagers who are over 18 living at home. They refuse to get a job. They refuse to go to school. They refuse to be productive. They claim there are no jobs. I can name at least 6 families who actively have section 8 and some of the members have criminal records and or have people staying with them with records. Also, I can tell you that i am a Real Estate agent and when the market took a down turn I delivered pizzas. Since the Move to Opportunity (yes I know that you refuse to believe that it exists) Crime is up in our area and our median income for this area has dropped significantly. I love Dundalk, but we have such poor representation that I fear that is will only get worse. One more thing..Look at Baltimore City housing. The proof is there. Crime is rampant there. So how someone can say that there is no correlation between the two is simply false. The only way to curb crime is to be more selective to whom they give section 8 vouchers. They city hands them out left and right it seems.
Buzz Beeler January 31, 2013 at 02:28 AM
Shell, you should no my position better than that. I was a cop for 39 years and I know there is a direct coloration between the two. This country is headed backwards. For the first time in history our GDP growth in the negative figures, which is the sign of a recession headed this way. There is no way based on the these types of entitlements we can sustain that cost. , including Section 8. Something has to give. I wrote the blog as it was presented by the organizers of the event. It is clear they to also know the implications of Section 8 on a community. If they didn't I'm quite sure they do now.
Shell9 January 31, 2013 at 02:51 AM
I am with you Buzz..I was responding to the other post. I know that you and our other fine officers are the only defense that we have. I try to find the positive in all but it is getting harder each day. Especially since I am raising teen age girls. I am trying to keep them on the right path. I keep a tight leash on them. I appreciate that you keep up on the issues and call those out to be accountable.
Buzz Beeler January 31, 2013 at 04:08 AM
Sorry Shell I was on the phone and got distracted in reading your comment.
Steve January 31, 2013 at 04:26 AM
At least a dozen independent studies prove that you are wrong. The correlation between the Housing Voucher Program and crime has been studied extensively and all but one of the studies (and that wasn't really a study. That was an article in The Atlantic magazine) proved that there is no effect. http://www.brookings.edu/~/media/research/files/papers/2000/7/metropolitanpolicy%20duncan/issue3
Shell9 January 31, 2013 at 04:40 AM
I don't have to see studies..I am living in the middle of it. Let me make one thing clear. I do believe there are some very nice people who are upstanding citizens on Section 8 but there are far more that aren't. I don't know about you but I have friends/family from all walks of life. Some hardworking and some I wouldn't dare vouch for. I will give you an example. I know a family who just got section 8 reinstated after allegations of selling drugs. Now after a year of living with this relative and that relative, they were reinstated. So whats the first thing they do after they get in a new house, they invite all 4 children who are over 18 to move back into the home with them. All four have no job. None of them graduated high school and in addition to that they all separately get food stamps and medical help. The daughters boyfriend just got out of jail for attempted murder. Guess what??? He is moving in with them. SO now you have all of them and now the uncles who have records are moving in. I see it all the time..Not in my job but in the everyday people that either my family knows or kids that are at my girls schools. So no studies needed here. Growing in Dundalk, it is all around.
Steve January 31, 2013 at 04:47 AM
Just because you want it to be so doesn't make it so. He can't live with them. All residents must have a criminal background check. The powers that be check on this regularly. Are you sure they receive Housing Vouchers or do they just live in a slumlord owned cheap apartment?
Shell9 January 31, 2013 at 04:53 AM
Yes I am sure..You actually think that they tell Section 8 powers that be that all of those people live there? They only check it when they get a complaint. Who is going to complain? The family next door that is doing the same thing? I know what I am saying and I stand by my comments.
Steve January 31, 2013 at 05:02 AM
It's just a not so subtle form of racism trying to link Housing Voucher recipients with crime. Fortunately the facts prove otherwise.
Shell9 January 31, 2013 at 05:02 AM
I know this is a hot button issue. I actually respect the dialogue on here. If we talk about it , maybe something can change. Whether studies or not. Dialogue keeps it going. We need to restore our community back to it's roots. A community of hard working people who want a safe place to raise their kids.
Buzz Beeler January 31, 2013 at 01:48 PM
Shell you are trying to be understanding and polite, but you are listening to a person who has no knowledge or experience in these matters. I don't think he even works has a job or an education of any kind. He has nerved answered any questions, lies on a regular basis and has no prominence. Take a look at the large cities of this country, Detroit, Chiacgo and Baltimore. Look at their problems. Her are two links that explain the correlation between what you have seen with your own eyes. I saw it as a cop for 30 years both on the streets in in the stats division. Here is the first link and it was a shock for the people that did the study because they believed otherwise. http://newsbusters.org/blogs/tom-blumer/2008/06/21/section-8-vouchers-crime-correlated-expect-media-indifference Here is another: http://www.nhi.org/online/issues/127/section8.html This Steve has never been forthright and can't tell the difference between an investigation and a birthday party. He is uneducated contentiously violates the terms of use and disappears when you ask him a question. He is part the left wing entitlement part of this country which last night announced a GDP growth in the minus range. This is a first for this country. The left wing media did nothing of Fast and Furious and Bengjaze-gate. They are too busy singing the praise of Obama. http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2012/11/susan-rice

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