Author Topic: section 8 landlording as a way to help our poor  (Read 3372 times)

theoverlook

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Re: section 8 landlording as a way to help our poor
« Reply #50 on: January 19, 2021, 02:42:11 PM »
@ChpBstrd : Holy cow, those are all really great ideas. I'm uncomfortable with #1 and #2, but I realize this is likely as a result as my position and privilege as a (multi-) property owner.

MoseyingAlong

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Re: section 8 landlording as a way to help our poor
« Reply #51 on: January 19, 2021, 06:43:13 PM »
I'm not in a position to commit to a perpetual stipend for someone but I would love to figure out how to sponsor someone for 1-3 years of housing while they get on their feet. Realizing they probably need additional resources, along with housing, the program described in this article sounds great. Any ideas how to connect with a similar program that would connect individual donors with recipients?
 
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2019-11-05/unitedhealth-s-myconnections-houses-the-homeless-through-medicaid

While I'm FI now and planning on a perhaps-permanent sabbatical starting in a few months, I'd keep up some paid employment to sponsor someone for something like this.

In the 70s and 80s, some of my relatives sponsored refugee families from Vietnam. They helped financially but also with in-person help to adjust to the US. I'd like to do something similar for people aging out of the foster system or female veterans.

iris lily

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Re: section 8 landlording as a way to help our poor
« Reply #52 on: January 19, 2021, 06:52:12 PM »
I'm not in a position to commit to a perpetual stipend for someone but I would love to figure out how to sponsor someone for 1-3 years of housing while they get on their feet. Realizing they probably need additional resources, along with housing, the program described in this article sounds great. Any ideas how to connect with a similar program that would connect individual donors with recipients?
 
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2019-11-05/unitedhealth-s-myconnections-houses-the-homeless-through-medicaid

While I'm FI now and planning on a perhaps-permanent sabbatical starting in a few months, I'd keep up some paid employment to sponsor someone for something like this.

In the 70s and 80s, some of my relatives sponsored refugee families from Vietnam. They helped financially but also with in-person help to adjust to the US. I'd like to do something similar for people aging out of the foster system or female veterans.
any idea?

Churches.

That makes you go ick,  I can assure you that the liberal churches around here in my urban core deal with homeless issues all the time.  As do the Catholics.

MoseyingAlong

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Re: section 8 landlording as a way to help our poor
« Reply #53 on: January 19, 2021, 07:04:10 PM »
I'm not in a position to commit to a perpetual stipend for someone but I would love to figure out how to sponsor someone for 1-3 years of housing while they get on their feet. Realizing they probably need additional resources, along with housing, the program described in this article sounds great. Any ideas how to connect with a similar program that would connect individual donors with recipients?
 
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2019-11-05/unitedhealth-s-myconnections-houses-the-homeless-through-medicaid

While I'm FI now and planning on a perhaps-permanent sabbatical starting in a few months, I'd keep up some paid employment to sponsor someone for something like this.

In the 70s and 80s, some of my relatives sponsored refugee families from Vietnam. They helped financially but also with in-person help to adjust to the US. I'd like to do something similar for people aging out of the foster system or female veterans.
any idea?

Churches.

That makes you go ick,  I can assure you that the liberal churches around here in my urban core deal with homeless issues all the time.  As do the Catholics.

Iris lily, thanks for the idea.
Churches don't make me go ick; some do a tremendous amount of good.
I guess I can start calling around and see what programs they offer.

Shane

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Re: section 8 landlording as a way to help our poor
« Reply #54 on: January 19, 2021, 07:57:50 PM »
The PBS Frontline documentary, Poverty, Politics and Profit was pretty good, and is on topic for this discussion. The film follows several S8 families, so you can see what their lives are like. It's pretty sad. One point made in the film that I thought was good was that, while there is a strict limit on the number of S8 vouchers given out in each real estate market, there are no limits on the huge mortgage tax exemption given to property owners. The government says they can only afford to give like 10% of the families who need rental assistance any help, but they place no limits on how much money they'll dole out to homeowners and banks. When you think about it, that doesn't make very much sense. The mortgage interest tax exemption basically just pushes up the costs of real estate, and is a big hand out to banks and mortgage loan companies.
Until a couple years ago there was no limit on the mortgage interest deduction for primary residences. But currently interest on mortgage amounts greater than 750k is not deductible.
https://www.irs.gov/publications/p936

That seems like a step in the right direction. Better would be to eliminate the mortgage interest deduction completely, imho. Seems like the subsidy is going to the wrong people. Homeless people living on the streets need the money more than wealthy home purchasers.

fishnfool

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Re: section 8 landlording as a way to help our poor
« Reply #55 on: January 19, 2021, 10:39:43 PM »
I had an okay experience with my former upstairs section 8 tenants. A mom with 2 kids rented my upstairs unit for 8 years and they were there through the '08 downturn. So it was nice having steady rents coming in. But then her kids became adults and moved out. So she lost her voucher for 3 bedrooms and had to find a 1 bedroom unit.

I had to help her move out 2 weeks after her notice date because her family bailed on her. I was loading her stuff in a rental van for a day and a half but it was worth getting her on out so I could clean and paint for new tenants. After 8 years my rental rate was falling behind so I got a 25% increase when new tenants came in. Win win!

They can be decent tenants but beware that you will have to be within their income limits and its hard to raise your rent to keep up in some rental markets if you're dealing with section 8.  They are also supposed to do annual inspections of your unit. Mine was never inspected. I guess it depends on local and if you've had tenants complain about rental conditions. I think section 8 tenants are a good option in some markets but not tenants I would seek out.

iris lily

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Re: section 8 landlording as a way to help our poor
« Reply #56 on: January 27, 2021, 01:05:26 PM »
I recently finished listening to the 99% invisible "according to need" series. In it, they talk about what it is like to be homeless and why it is such a problem. Over the past year, my desire to help this group of people has been growing. I'd like to be wise about this. My learning has taken me to section 8 housing. It seems like this is a needed piece of the puzzle that is missing in large ways.

I'm in Denver, CO. We had 24,000 ish applicants this year for section 8 housing with less then 1,000 people getting them. (https://denverite.com/2020/09/22/whats-a-section-8-housing-subsidy-and-whats-the-need-for-them-like-in-denver)

What I'm trying to understand is do we need more landlords that are providing this type of housing? Or does the government only hand out a certain amount of money that ends up being roughly 1,000 vouchers worth of housing? How do we tackle this giant problem in a smart way?

As far as investments go, it would be great if this wasn't 100% donation but a sustainable way to invest (though not as profitable or as easy as straight up real estate). I expect problems to arise, such as communities fighting against building more of these types of houses near their own.

Do you have any insight into this field? Please share.

So, OP, what actions have you taken as a result of your new information?

affordablehousing

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Re: section 8 landlording as a way to help our poor
« Reply #57 on: January 27, 2021, 06:31:51 PM »
I work in this field and can say the most useful practical advice as a local landlord is to just research Section 8 and see if it is a good fit for your properties, tlak to other landlords and keep your mind open. Many reflexively dismiss the program but depending on the area it can pay an over the market rent. That said, there are entire buildings that get a Section 8 contract that blanket covers all the units, and thus tenants don't need to hold individual Section 8 vouchers to live there.

There is also an enormous industry revolving around federal tax credits that produces new construction and rehabbed multifamily housing at rent and income restricted levels. If so inclined, becoming a LIHTC investor or investing in financial institutions that lend in affordable housing, like Community Development Institutions (basically non-profit banks) can be another way to support it.

In general, there's a debate as to whether housing is a privilege or a right. I don't think that will ever be decided, but most agree that for anything to have broad impact, developers, investors, landlords, banks, attorneys, cosultants and accountants all need to be paid market value for their time/risk/ability to participate in housing those unable to afford market rent or needing social services.

livesimplecolorado

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Re: section 8 landlording as a way to help our poor
« Reply #58 on: February 13, 2021, 09:33:05 AM »
I live in Aurora but did Section 8 in Denver for about 7 years when my husband and I first got our rentals.

I can give you my own take on this just from being a Section 8 landlord myself. First of all, yes, there is a need for landlords, a huge shortage, especially in places like Denver. This is kind of sad, because it really would be a great benefit for those poorer persons who need sustainable housing.

I stopped doing section 8 because of many reasons, and the most important being that Section 8 is a royal pain in the ass to deal with as a landlord. I think if they made it easier on landlords they might have more of these landlords that are willing to take the risk with a Section 8 tenant.

The problem with Denver IMHO is that they make you feel as a landlord that they are doing you a favor, maybe they should feel grateful that you are going to take the risk and provide a valuable service.

Here are some of the reasons I stopped doing it:

1. Section 8 enforces that you provide "marketable" rent to low-income persons. This is fine, but it is basically telling you that even if market is 2k a month, you have to list your unit for say $1500 and be OK with taking a loss. If you are not so concerned with your profit margin then this is a mute point but in Denver where the market is so competitive, it is hard to swallow for a landlord that can get much more for his/her unit

2. Section 8 tenants... I hate to generalize, but you are not just dealing with the tenant themselves, you are also dealing with a certain amount of baggage. I am not saying this to be judgemental. I had some wonderful tenants, but I also had some that had abusive spouses, mental health issues, prior addiction problems, etc. So, you have to be willing to deal with that drama

3. Deposits. Getting a normal-sized deposit from a section 8 tenant is nearly impossible because... duh... they don't have any money. So, I would always work with my tenants, I would take say 100 or 150 deposit. Once or twice, I said not to worry. This is fine, but when they move out, you are basically on the hook for any cleaning, damage, etc. So if you are OK with that, then this is also a mute point.

4. Section 8 inspections. Normally, if you have a decent unit, this is also a mute point, but these inspections can be an absolute nightmare for most landlords. I was always told that I had "the best units they have ever seen." Mine were clean, up to code, etc. However, if you get an inspector that is some kind of Social Justice Warrior lol, they will ping you on the weirdest crap. I had one that told me the cord to the light fan was not long enough. I had lightbulbs that were out, or one time they refused to pay my portion because my greasy stove was a fire hazard. The reason the stove was greasy was because the tenant never cleaned. However, that was deemed my fault and of course my husband and I ended up cleaning the stove ourselves so we could get the rent paid.

5. Tenant Rent Portion. This has always been drama for me. No matter how low the portion is, there is always a reason they can't pay it. I had one tenants portion that was 7 dollars and she could not pay it. This went on for months before she called me in a panic because she thought she was getting evicted. I finally said, let it go, just go buy diapers for your kid.


6. Learned Helplessness, Entitlement, Victimhood. I am sorry to add this, but it is an unfortunate side effect of this program. Something silly breaks (there is a spider in the basement, yes, that was a call i got once), they short-circuit and can't figure out how to problem-solve. I had another tenant that blamed me for her dog getting out of the yard and getting hit by a car. The fence broke, I fixed it, dog broke it again and she could not figure out how to take a screwdriver out and fix it herself. She also accused me of being a "crappy landlord" when I kept some of her deposit because she left the place a pigsty.


Positives...
I had some wonderful tenants that I really felt like I helped and made a positive impact on their lives.

iris lily

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Re: section 8 landlording as a way to help our poor
« Reply #59 on: February 15, 2021, 03:52:16 PM »
About the inspection: one sec 8 landlord told DH to have something on the property that was obviously wrong and easy to fix, such as a loose handrail. The inspector needs to put something in his report.

That worked for DH over several inspections.