Tag Archives: United States Department of Housing and Urban Development

Glad that more people are interested in the small time…

I see that more people have been clicking on my Small Houses Resource Guide post. It would be great if the mayors of our cities would take an interest in providing small housing options for people who do not want or need a large house, but who do want to feel like they have a house and a piece of land to work on and grow food.
I know, I know, we are all supposed to live in apartments, if we can’t afford big monstrous homes. That’s our punishment, right?
When did housing your body get so complicated? Lots of people only need one room and can only afford it. But does that mean they should be cramped into an apartment slum? Think about it; land that is just going to waste somewhere. Lay some plumbing and a road. Some street lights. Then divide up lots. 25’x25′ or 50’x50′. The people can move in with just tents, if the climate permits, and then move around in the space to find neighbors that they are comfortable with. No assigning and locking people in. Too George Orwell. When they find their spot and keep peaceful for a trial period (about a year)… then they get to meet with charities who can help them build their safe, affordable, snug home. Whooo ray for us, we helped stop homelessness.

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Joshua Duerk on Helping Those in Need of Housing

….”Though there are many helpful organizations, perhaps most important in the fight against homelessness is ensuring the availability of low-cost housing.” Ain’t that the truth! — T.J.

Joshua Duerk's WordPress Blog

With the steady increase in homelessness in America over the past two decades, the need for housing subsidy programs has become especially resonant. Maryland is no exception—Baltimore-Towson ranked 23rd in a survey of homelessness in America’s highest-populated metro areas. Fortunately, there are programs in existence that can help.

The federal government’s Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8) offers financial assistance in the form of vouchers to very low-income families and individuals, the disabled, and the elderly to help cover housing costs.

Another program, the state of Maryland’s Rental Allowance Program, provides grants to local governments, who then subsidize low-income or homeless individuals’ and families’ housing needs.

Baltimore-based Alliance, Inc. offers help to veterans who are either homeless or near homelessness by providing access to housing resources and financial assistance for permanent housing.

Though there are many helpful organizations, perhaps most important in the fight against homelessness is ensuring the availability…

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Shelter report: shocking claims on gatekeeping

I experienced ‘GateKeeping’ myself. The public housing people try to make it very hard for the homeless to get a unit.


Lo and Behold…

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I just got a letter today about how my four-year old (that’s four years, folks) application for low-income housing has finally come to the surface of the pile and I am supposed to go to a meeting to show them I am still interested. Does this have ANYTHING  to do with the fact that I complained to another agency one week ago that I was having a hard time complying with their requirements because of homelessness, and that I have been waiting on the housing list for four years? Humm.

Anyway, the journey has begun and I will send you pictures of the place and give you up dates, when and if it all happens. You get to actually see someone get off the streets. Mind you, considering the surrounding situation and the types of gatekeepers in my dear city, I’m sure they will put me in the sorriest spot they can find. Not being negative, just realistic. The reason I (and others like me) have been waiting so long on the housing list is that we are not part of the favored group that gets housing here. Unfair, since the group I belong to (via my family background) has been building this city from the beginning and have a long history in this area.

But, at least it’s a bed and a kitchen (yeah! I can cook my own food) and a bathroom and I can get my stuff out of storage. Take care and have a Merry Christmas.


Two Great New Reads

http://www.homelesshub.ca/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/maria-foscarinis/attack-homelessness-not-h_b_1637999.html


The Push to House Homeless Vets

Most of the homeless vets I have talked to recently have told me that they would not take advantage of the chance to get off the streets that HUD and other government agencies is offering them now. Reasons range from not wanting to be in a building with other homeless people that may have more serious problems then them (and having to deal with those people and their problems) to just not seeing the need or not wanting to put up some of their money for rent.

As a person who has been wanting a break like this for the last 4 years (but, the ‘house the middle aged homeless person, who has no criminal record, but is under paid and living in an over priced tourist trap area program’ hasn’t yet been developed by the government), I wonder about how much money will be thrown at this program before people just give up and decide that it won’t help as many people as they had hoped it would. Here are some suggestions that will bridge the gap between what Uncle Sam is offering and what just might be what the vets need:

* Renovate buildings in urban areas and make them resource centers for homeless vets. These centers can include places to get clothes, food (food banks), employment info, social services/sobriety programs, computer training, etc. These buildings can be a good place to offer rooms to vets who want to get off the streets because of illness or hospital discharge. And for those who have had it with living on the streets, they can be a place to connect with to get an apartment or room.

* For places where there is not much snow, having colonies of tiny homes (see Welcome to the Small Time for posts about this), that give each person a shelter that is more sturdy than a tent and can be put up quickly; perhaps in forested areas that need clearing and maintainance. Community kitchens, dining areas, laundry, and lavotory/showers can be built and kept up by the residents. It would be something like the living that they had been doing in the service and they could be paid for work that they do to upkeep the forest or national park area.

Of course, those vets who have been recently discharged form the service will benefit most from the housing programs that are currently being offered, but for the guys who have been living on the streets for a long time, the two other options listed above might make more sense for them.

The helping homeless vets article below is very informative.


Free Web Cast Program on the Human Right to Housing

English: Homeless veteran in New York

English: Homeless veteran in New York (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This program is sponsored by the National Law Center for Homelessness and Poverty andwill be shown Dec. 10th:

http://www.nlchp.org/news.cfm?id=212


Attended a Recent HUD Meeting

At the meeting solutions for homelessness was the topic. Most of the people who attended represented 50 local area agencies and non-profits and most of them asked about increased funding. It was stressed that due to the shortage of funds, increased focus would be on results. See this article to find out about a similar meeting in another area. One woman at the meeting started a “no profit” that is housing men in five homes and helping them to get services they need and to move in to permanent housing. She said she decided to act because she was tired of seeing the same people living on the streets day after day. She gets no funding at all to do this. Wish more people were like her.

Anyway, I got my shot at commenting on the shortage of studios and one bedroom units in our city and about how the prices of many of these “low-income” apartments are too high for a person living alone (you’d have to share a one bedroom with two or three people to bring the price down). I suggested a sweat equity plan like Habitat for Humanity, where homeless people in the shelters volunteer to help do the unskilled labor tasks in exchange for getting to live in the apartment after it is finished. (How about a guaranteed 3 year lease, too?) They could get a lot of units back on the market if they used the labor available — and for free — to do the rehabs. Will it ever happen? You can dream.

As a side observance, I had introduced myself as homeless (one of the two people in the room), yet, not one of the 50 representatives of the agencies who were in attendance came up to me after the meeting and asked me if I needed help. Typical.