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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Today's puzzle

Why is Mayor Char-Lie spending his time and city bandwidth promoting Tina Kotek's political career? His hands should be full right now trying to save the city that the Sam Rand Twins have set on a course to ruin.

Comments (21)

Follow the money. A brief glance makes it look like it's a back door to giving money to crapartment developers so they will have some section 8 units.

There's so much crazy, superfluous stuff on the city website -- it's truly amazing. But you can see why the city's broke: It can't focus. Institutional ADD.

Kotek's proposed fund to compensate landlords for property losses created by Section 8 tenants better be BIG! Really BIG! I sure hope it wouldn't be just for the crapartment builders to draw from. Another reason landlords don't care for Section 8 tenants as a rule is that when tenants behave badly, the good tenants move out and the property goes downhill fast. The Section 8 folks come with case managers, lawyers and bags of tricks to hang on for a long time before you can wedge them out. The system has taught them they don't have to follow the same rules that others do. Tina should be a landlord before she tries to tell others what to do.

"Why is Mayor Char-Lie spending his time and city bandwidth promoting Tina Kotek's political career?"

cf. Log-rolling

In a one-party state you need to circle the wagons and show solidarity and no sign of weakness - Ever.

She's anointed by the state's One Party. Being groomed for bigger things. You'll see her all over the place for a few years. Then she'll run for governor or something.

This is the first time I've seen a story about Tina Kotek that didn't mention that she is the first openly lesbian state house speaker in the history of humankind.

I'll go with Steve's idea. Lifting some material from a press release and putting it on the mayor's website is not difficult or expensive, and is a small investment in city-state relations.
This has gotta be one of your most curmudgeonly complaints ever, Jack, which doesn't mean I respect and admire you any less, only that I worry that other people might.

There's a photo Garage Wine. Some things go without saying. And Proud to be from LO - don't you know that folks are forced into Section 8 housing because our society is unjust? The rich aren't paying their fair share? And the Bush administration? We owe free housing to women who have five kids, with four different men (none of whom they bothered to marry).

I believe he is trying to push the City's legislative agenda, which includes getting rid of property tax limits so the City can keep chumping Portlanders with sharp tax hikes to fund more non-performing loans and other wasteful acts of Portland City Hall.
This is dreadful. I don't want a cut in my tax rates but I do want them to be frozen(or kept stable) rather than continually hiked higher. If this is good enough for NIKE, it's even fairer for ordinary folks like us.

I worry that other people might.

Somebody is getting paid to sit there and post crap like this. It is a waste of money -- money that the mayor says we haven't got.

the first openly lesbian state house speaker in the history of humankind

Need I remind people that this was Oregon's first openly straight political blog?

Identity politics: so wrong on so many levels. How much longer will they run? 50 years? Maybe 20?

Once again, the legislature does everything it can to raise housing costs in Oregon, then turns around in amazement as housing is increasingly unaffordable.

Let me know when Kotek demands that section 8 housing be available in the West Hills. Or Dunthorpe.

Dunthorpe needs some mixed-use development. Methadone clinic on the ground floor, 400-square-foot apartments above.

How much longer, Sally? Until the Democrats develop a new campaign strategy. And this one appears to be working pretty well for them so far.

I forget, who was the nation's first openly black dog catcher? I'm sure he or she could tell you.

Section 8 housing in the West Hill or Dunthorpe? Don't think it won't happen! It's HUD's goal to distribute public housing in wealthy neighborhoods for some good, old-fashioned social engineering. And the folks at the Fair Housing Council are itching to find discrimination wherever they can find it, even if they have to invent it. The force of the federal government's ability to withdraw all funding for states and cities that do not comply with even the silliest of demands is a very real threat these days. It's like living in Alice's rabbit hole. Off with their heads!

On another note, whenever housing gets tight, rents go up. (Duh). Then builders come around and add to the supply of housing units so prices level off or go down. Then the whole thing starts over again. This is a fact of life for landlords, and if you read Mark Berry's Apartment Newsletter you will see that by the end of the year we will have reached a peak in pricing and occupancy figures. But when politicians get their noses in our business, they assume whatever exists today is the way things always will be and that everything needs some solution only they can offer. Wrong. When housing is plentiful, landlords will be only too happy to have those government checks coming in each month. But maybe not in Dunthorpe.

Section 8 leases are extremely difficult for landlords to break, in order to "protect" tenants. If this passes, landlords become public utilities, who must rent to low-income, Section 8 tenants, who are, sad to say, far more likely to trash their units, not pay their portion of the rent, etc. I say this based on over 40 years experience representing landlords and property managers, including our local housing authority, and as a former legal aid attorney.

Currently, any landlord who chooses, may rent to Section 8 tenants, and many are willing to do so, because they know that a good portion, or in some cases, all of their rent is guaranteed. To force all of them, by legislative fiat, to rent to Section 8 tenants, under fear that otherwise they are guilty of illegal "discrimination" demonstrates utter economic ignorance and will reduce housing stock for low income tenants as surely as the "habitability" requirements of the Residential Landlord Tenant Act drove increased homelessness after its passage in 1973, by cutting off the low end of the housing market and "deciding" it was best for the poor to sleep outdoors rather than in "non-habitable" slums.

As economist Thomas Sowell has noted, the social history of the last 30 years has been marked by replacing what has worked with what has "sounded good".

In order to rent to a Section 8 recipient, a landlord has to have a habitable, reasonably priced unit and agree to a one year lease. Tenants can be evicted for non-payment of rent (their portion), property damage, unauthorized tenants, anything else that any other renter would face. Landlords are under no obligation to continue with the program at the end of the lease. There are misperceptions about the program and the recipients, but I am too tired to spend a lot of time debunking them all. As someone who has worked with clients who are trying to use their vouchers to access rentals, I have heard all the biases and prejudices, whether race-based or class based, or familial status based. And honestly, if it passes, landlords determined to not rent to them will find ways to facilitate that. Housing discrimination exists. The only thing that addresses prejudice is education.

The HUD lease form for Section 8 tenants limits grounds for eviction to: "serious or repeated violation of the lease", alcohol or drug violations" or "other good cause", which for the first year is limited to "destruction of property", "disturbance of neighbors" or "damage to the unit as a result of living or housekeeping habits". Not only does the lease not allow eviction for "anything else that any other renter would face", as asserted by Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, such as an unauthorized pet, a violation of the lease which is other than "serious and repeated", or a "no cause" 30/60 day notice, which is the landlord's best friend for tenants who are problematic or worse, it requires notice to the local HUD agency of any tenant notice of violation and that eviction may only be by court proceeding. Rebecca should read "The Unheavenly City" by Edward Banfield, before asserting that refusing to rent to Section 8 tenants is a prejudice which is "class based". As noted, "sad to say", there are very real class differences in how many, not all, tenants perceive their responsibilities, and the lower the income of the tenant, the greater the risk the landlord bears of untoward behavior. This is not a "prejudice", but reality. To force landlords to accept Section 8 tenants, will result in a decrease in the available housing stock for rent to such tenants as inevitably as rent control has done so in New York City. Your ideals won't "fix" the landlord's economic calculus.

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