Housing in California: Emergency Vouchers – CalMatters

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In summary

In this episode of “Gimme Shelter: The California Housing Crisis Podcast,” Manuela Tobias of CalMatters and Liam Dillon of the Los Angeles Times sit down with San Luis Obispo Homeless Services Coordinator Jack Lahey to discuss the mixed results. of a federal rental assistance program.



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Section 8 vouchers are great – as long as you can find a landlord who will rent to you.

Dubbed after Section 8 of the Federal Housing Act, the Housing Choice Voucher program allows low-income tenants to pay only 30% of their income for rent and utilities, while Uncle Sam assume the rest.

An emergency package of vouchers to tackle housing insecurity during the pandemic attempted to tackle the all-too-common problem of landlord discrimination by sweetening the deal with generous signing bonuses and security deposits. higher guarantees. So far, the results are mixed, but promising.

In just over a year, California has used about a third of the 17,000 new vouchers received from the federal government, worth more than $400 million. Smaller cities, like San Luis Obispo, have turned nearly all of their bonds into leases — while other cities with equally hot housing markets, like Los Angeles, still have more than 3,000 families waiting to find a home. lodging.

To explain why voucher holders are faring much better in some California housing markets than others, Manuela Tobias of CalMatters and Liam Dillon of the Los Angeles Times sit down with Jack Lahey, Director of Homeless Services at the Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo, who previously worked in homeless services in Los Angeles.

Lahey explains why landlord incentives work — but enforcement of anti-discrimination laws must follow.

Manuela is the housing reporter for CalMatters. His stories focus on the political dynamics and economic and racial inequalities that have contributed to California’s housing crisis and its potential…


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