Does Section 8 destroy an area? - Posted by Lee

Posted by acw on July 05, 2010 at 13:43:41:

Gotcha IB…

Yeah…i mis-read that…my apologizes.

But my original message is correct. Since the Whole market is so f~*&ed up…i am seeing Section 8 renters in the Nicest neighborhoods in my area (s.fla).

I mean homes that are valued at 500k and up…near the beach have section 8 tenants.

And why not?

Business is Business…



Does Section 8 destroy an area? - Posted by Lee

Posted by Lee on July 01, 2010 at 18:12:46:

Several local investors have told me that whenever an area begins to accept section 8 vouchers then it is on its way downhill. I have checked my area and this appears to be true.

When I overlay a map of my areas that are in decline and a section 8 map from HUD the areas are mostly the same.

Is this true in other areas?

Re: Does Section 8 destroy an area? - Posted by michaela-CA

Posted by michaela-CA on July 03, 2010 at 23:43:33:

I think this many times may change with the local areas.

For example - in Atlanta section 8 pays a certain amount and you can not ask the tenant to contribute.
Being a landlord is a business. Subsequently, the areas and houses where the market rents are above what section 8 pays will probably not have a lot of section 8 tenants. The landlords with homes that aren’t bringing in as much rent on the open market, would love to get section 8 approved, because they have more and more steady income.

So, what came first - the chicken or the egg?


Re: Does Section 8 destroy an area? - Posted by Frank Chin

Posted by Frank Chin on July 03, 2010 at 11:40:42:


It has to do with the “concentration” of Section 8 people in the area, rather than saying some section 8 people are hard working, and some are not.

When my sister’s husband died suddenly some years back leaving her with two young girls, ages 8, and 10, she gone on various assistance programs, including section 8. I live in NYC, and visit her about once a year up in MA.

This relatively new apartment complex she lived in looked great coming up the highway to the city of Springfield. However, when I go visit the building, I stay over, I noticed the difference right away.

The thing that struck me as strange is all the people hanging around outside the building at all hours, adult, children, and all ages in between. And there’s a uniformed security guard in the lobby to sign you in and out.

I passed by neighboring buildings where it’s ghostly quiet, and NO security guards. Then I was shocked to learn those neighboring buildings belong to the same owner, and also managed by the same management company.

I soon found out that all renters on assistance is steered to this one building, where my sister lives, and because they got subsidies in building the place, was required to take a certain percentage of renters on assistance. The rest of the complex all went to “market renters”.

So, what’s the difference??

Well, as my sister lived there, I met a few of her neighbors, turns out many of them work two jobs, or in my sisters’ case, works part time, goes to school at night. As to the kids, well, they hang around the streets, and the lawn in front of the building.

And the security guard??

It’s the only building in the area with it, and without him, the hallways and lobbies would be over-run with kids. When her kids became teenagers, she left instruction for the guard not to let her kids into her apartment because her apartment became the local hangout, and things, like TV sets, had been stolen.

As to the grownups hanging around outside. Quite a few of them are on assistance due to some disability. On nice days, they hang around outside playing cards whereas in the other buildings, people went to work.

Finally, all of this got on my sister’s nerves, so after she work full time, the kids were grown, she moved away, about a quarter mile, to a nice new condo. Here the “sound of silence” was deafening.

What I see is when there is a concentration of Section 8 renters, market renters start moving away, bringing in more section 8 renters. Oh, there is defintitely more maintainance for section 8 properties, and expenses, starting with the security guard. I notice more graffiti in my sisters’ huilding. Unless owners spend more to compensate, the area can go downhill.

My neighborhood - Posted by Kristine-CA

Posted by Kristine-CA on July 02, 2010 at 13:33:22:

I live in a CA coastal town, on the west side of downtown in what
developed as a working class neighborhood. Home values are around
$750K. I have neighbors two blocks using a section-8 voucher. There
are apartment complexes in this neighborhood that have Section 8
tenants as well. We’re all OK, not too much crime, not too downhill. :slight_smile:
I think there is a confusion about what Section 8 is/means. It means a
family’s income is low enough to qualify. Two people making less than
$10/hr with a few kids qualify. How many of us have hired people for
less than $10/hr…? If the family has no income or very low, or is not
reporting income, they qualify and pay no share of rent. Those with
reported income pay are supposed to pay about 1/3 of their income
and the voucher pays the rest.

It’s not Section-8 that means anything as much as all the other things
that make a city/community thrive or not: health of the city/county
budget that makes for infrastructure improvements and maintenance
possible or impossible. Things like schools and roads and law

I’ve bought and sold about a dozen houses in one rural desert town
with far worse infrastructure, poverty and crime than the inner city I
also buy in. None of those neighborhoods had Section-8 tenants. Just
really, really low income. Poverty and education are the problem,
really. Not Section 8 vouchers.

Re: Does Section 8 destroy an area? - Posted by Ken

Posted by Ken on July 02, 2010 at 07:17:13:

I think yes.The mentality of always taking means these people do not clean yards,discipline children etc which leads to property destruction,petty crime etc

Re: Does Section 8 destroy an area? - Posted by DJ-nyc

Posted by DJ-nyc on July 02, 2010 at 07:00:21:

What does a Section 8 person look like?


Re: Does Section 8 destroy an area? - Posted by Amotoxracer

Posted by Amotoxracer on July 01, 2010 at 18:44:01:

I can answer your question with a question.

Are there any genuinely good areas that have sec 8 residents ??

Re: Does Section 8 destroy an area? - Posted by chi ming

Posted by chi ming on July 03, 2010 at 22:46:57:

Kind of a catch-22 with the Housing people only wanting
to pay market rents but the stats showing their clients
are harder on properties. Some may consider it unfair
to generalize that way but consider this: when dealing
with an unknown such as the future behavior of a new
tenant who is effectively a stranger, all you have to
go on are the odds.

Either you guys are elitists or… - Posted by IB (NJ)

Posted by IB (NJ) on July 02, 2010 at 12:34:39:

you’ve never dealt with section 8 before. Most of the section 8 I’ve come across are clean, hard working (yes many of them have jobs) and DO discipline their children. Hell I’ve seen rich suburban folks fail to discipline their children or clean up after themselves.

To answer the OP’s question, no they don’t destroy an area, necessarily. Here they won’t move into an apartment unless the neighborhood is safe and clean. And there are some towns with $400k homes that have section 8.


Re: Does Section 8 destroy an area? - Posted by Lee

Posted by Lee on July 03, 2010 at 15:10:41:

In my area it is about 10,000 vouchers in the older working class areas. These areas are in rougher areas of town.

In the newer areas there are about 200 vouchers.

Re: Does Section 8 destroy an area? - Posted by Frank Chin

Posted by Frank Chin on July 04, 2010 at 05:23:23:

One thing I noticed about small property owners, especially of SFH, and small multis’ is they have a rigid view on maintenance, and then try to chisel on security deposits.

For instance, they have in their minds an apartment should be re-painted every five or more years. So never mind if a unit changes three times in five years, they simply don’t repaint, then claim the security claiming they had to re-paint. prematurely.

My sister’s daughter, who was ten when she moved into the section 8 unit I mentioned above, years later married someone who also grew up in section 8, and became a contractor. One time, he took me to an apartment complex where he was doing gut rehabs of two apartments, new bathrooms, and new kitchens.

So I asked him if this apartment complex updates the apartments on some sort of schedule. I was rather surpised to hear the answer that a good half or more of the renters here are section 8’s and about 25% of them leave the units in such a bad shape, that the only way is a gut rehab.

I was looking to pick up some rentals in the area, and asked if maybe these units can be fixed a bit, rather than totally redone. His answer was most small property owners would do that, a small repair, but the properties would start looking run down after a while.

He took me through the complex, and the upkeep of it was magnificent, with the owners willing to gut rehab units that’s in bad shape, even if it was just done three years before. On the other hand, many small owners would not keep up with such an agressive schedule.

I agree that it’s hard to predict a tenant’s behavoir. On the other hand, I’ve stuck with blue collar families, some professionals, and few would destroy a place. However, I totally repaint when someone leaves, pay a little extra to have my painter spackle and have it done right, and I have found renters that insist on a place being just so, usually leave it in good shape.

In the beginning, I would skip a paint job if the last tenant was there a year, and maybe not clean the carpets, and I found tenants willing to take rentals that way normally give it back to me a wreck.

Can’t judge a book by… - Posted by DJ-nyc

Posted by DJ-nyc on July 04, 2010 at 18:36:58:

One of my Section 8 tenants is planting a garden and has completely beautified my duplex in Bklyn. Her apartment is immaculant (she asked me and I let her ceramic tile her kitchen with her tiles); etc, etc,.

She is Section 8, spent time in Jail and if you hear her talk you will be completely fooled to how good a tenant she is.

Thanks IB(NJ) enuf said.


ehhh… - Posted by acw

Posted by acw on July 03, 2010 at 08:49:04:

I think the original poster has a valid question.

Why must you Lambast him for asking it ?


…common “Mr.NJ”

Here’s the Truth…ALL AREAS of the country are accepting Section 8. Believe me, if a guy who’s in foreclosure in Beverly Hills can find someone with a 10k/mth voucher from Section 8, you can bet your sweet Arse he’s gonna take it.

So the Real Answer is…the whole country is experiencing declining values and it doesn’t matter where you live anymore…there are foreclosures in the Nicest Neighborhoods (actually always have been).

Generally speaking, The market is FLOODED with rental properties…And yes…any landlord who doesn’t mind a little babysitting (a little) with section 8 renters will accept them.


Re: Can’t judge a book by… - Posted by Lee

Posted by Lee on July 08, 2010 at 21:17:07:

These type of tenants are gems. I enjoy getting people like this. I have had good tenants in section 8 and bad tenants that was not in section 8.

I don’t think that it is a direct link between section 8 and areas going downhill.

I believe that what is happening is that areas that become tenant heavy and many of them are section 8 start going downhill becauses businesses in that area have a difficult time staying open and they often close up and move to other profitable areas. Since the ares are now lacking sales tax revenue then cities often donate less tax money to keeping up the infrastructure in the area and that is when things begin to spiral downward.

Re: ehhh… - Posted by IB (NJ)

Posted by IB (NJ) on July 05, 2010 at 11:43:18:

T - did you see that I responded to Ken and NOT the OP? It was Ken who made a generalization of section 8 peeps so it was Ken who I responded to.