Under the Trump Administration, Housing for the Poor In This Country is Terrifyingly F*cked

Sometimes it’s helpful to look at the country as a tree. Not Jefferson’s tree of liberty — I’m not ready to pour the blood of tyrants onto the ground quite yet — but rather a tree where each branch is a different ideal. Racial equality, women’s rights, LGBT rights, immigrants’ rights, things like that are the various branches of the tree that makes a just society. At the roots are some of the more basic issues — food, shelter, education. All of those things can sometimes feel like the roots of this great tree, and when they prosper, we prosper, and when we prosper, those branches grow more and more healthy. We often tell ourselves that with the right education, we can over time heal the damaged roots and thereby help the tree flower. Education leads to knowledge and knowledge, as they say, is power.

But I’m not here to talk about education. I’m here to talk about one of the other basics — shelter. Because one of the country’s more integral departments, one that affects millions of poor Americans, is under direct assault right now, and it’s happening in a fashion that we never saw coming. Perhaps one of the least glamorous sounding branches of the government is the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and it’s because of that lack of glamour that this is happening somewhat under the radar. Sure, you’ve read about it — Ben Carson, an incompetent moron who somehow managed to earn a medical degree, is the new HUD Secretary. It’s been a national joke for several weeks now. But it’s important to realize just how much his appointment, and the subsequent actions of Carson, Trump, and HUD, are going to affect our future.

In short, if they maintain the course they’re on? We’re fucked. I mean shockingly fucked.

In the past week, two major news items have sprung up that could take us further down the road to the aforementioned fuckage. One, Lynne Patton is expected to be named the nominee to lead the New York regional HUD office. This is important for one simple reason — she’s a woefully unqualified toady, who is being appointed solely because she’s loyal. She is possibly even less qualified than Carson, which is saying something given that Carson’s only qualifications appear to be that he’s black, grew up poor, and will lick the boots of anyone who can give him access or power. Patton is a Trump loyalist who has absolutely zero housing experience, but has the good fortune of once working for Eric Trump’s foundation, and helped plan his wedding.

Let’s go over that again: a woman with zero housing experience, who helped Trump’s son plan his fucking wedding, is potentially the nominee to run the regional HUD office for one of the largest urban areas in the country. This is akin to me being nominated to run the EPA because I donated to Greenpeace. The only thing more bananas than this would be if someone like Rick Perry were named Energy Sec — oh, fuck.

Anyway, that’s part one of this fiasco. Part two has to do with Trump’s proposed budget, which, according to The Washington Post, calls for sharp cuts to housing assistance. Here’s the money quote:

President Trump’s budget calls for sharply reducing funding for programs that shelter the poor and combat homelessness — with a notable exception: It leaves intact a type of federal housing subsidy that is paid directly to private landlords.

One of those landlords is Trump himself, who earns millions of dollars each year as a part-owner of Starrett City, the nation’s largest subsidized housing complex. Trump’s 4 percent stake in the Brooklyn complex earned him at least $ 5 million between January of last year and April 15, according to his recent financial disclosure.

Now, that second paragraph is interesting, and once again results in one of the literal hundreds of conflicts of interest between Trump’s presidency and his business dealings. But don’t focus on it — it’s ultimately a misdirect that is going to take us away from the real issue. To be quite honest, I doubt that the fact that Trump’s building won’t suffer from these cuts even factored into the decision making process. This is a shot fired in a war that has been going on for years, only now it’s coming to fruition.

Here’s a bit of inside baseball to help us get to the heart of why this is such a massive problem:

There are two basic low-income housing programs in the United States: the Section 8 program, and the Public Housing program. There are dozens of sub-programs within those two very large umbrellas, and some states, like my own, also have their own smaller versions of each. But Section 8 and Low Income Public Housing (LIPH, to keep things shorter) are the two main ones. Section 8, also known as the Voucher program, has always been a darling of both sides of the political spectrum. Under this program, low-income families receive a subsidy that allows them to live in a regular, market-rent apartment for an income-based rent. Essentially, if you live in an apartment with a rent of $ 2000, you pay roughly 30% of your adjusted monthly income for rent, and whatever is left of that two grand is paid out by the government in subsidy. Sometimes, those apartments are designed specifically for low-income renters, but still owned privately. In fact, I work for one such development. It’s owned and managed by a private company, but serves specifically elderly and disabled persons who make less than 50% of the area median income. There’s a market rent attached to each apartment, but the residents never pay more than 30% of their income, and HUD picks up the balance. These are called «Project-Based» or «Multifamily» Section 8 developments. The other version is known as a mobile voucher, wherein you still have that voucher, but you can use it anywhere. Literally any apartment in the country (whose rent falls under a set amount based on region) becomes accessible to you — you still pay that 30%, the government still pays the rest. Chances are, if you’ve lived in low- to moderate-income apartments, you’ve likely has a neighbor who has benefited from this program.

The second, Public Housing, is a little different. This is housing that is government-owned and government-managed, usually via agencies called Housing Authorities. Every major (and most minor) city has a Housing Authority, which essentially takes HUD money and funnels it into the management of public housing. The public housing program is also what’s conventionally — and derogatorily — known as «the projects». Yeah, you’ve seen The Wire. Back in the day, they were usually high-rises, enabling us to cram a large number of very poor people into as small a space as possible. Build up, not out, was the philosophy, thus preventing poor people from taking over too much of the city’s landscape. Public housing is where the bulk of the low-income housing stigma comes from. Cities like Chicago and New York once had legendarily bad neighborhoods dotted with low-income housing developments, and they’ve always been easy political targets. People blame the projects for crime, for lack of education, for urban blight. But of course, just like shitty schools, shitty neighborhoods don’t exist in a vacuum — they happen because the money and resources to improve them do not exist. I’ve worked in low-income housing in a number of cities up and down the east coast, for going on 20 years now, and the one common thing is always money. The lack of money is why public housing suffers. And when the home you live in is shit, and the neighborhood you live in is shit, and the schools you go to are shit, guess what? You don’t have a lot of options ahead of you.

For decades now, the government has waged a mostly-silent war against low-income housing across the nation. The focus of that has always been public housing, and the Section 8 program has always been popular. It’s popular because there’s the appearance of independence — poor people are renting regular apartments! It’s also popular because it’s often the housing of choice for low-income seniors, one of the country’s more powerful voting blocks. It’s popular because it hides our poor within middle class neighborhoods, like thorns painted red. And frankly, it’s popular because it’s cheaper. Handing out slips of paper and telling you to go find an apartment is far less expensive than the brick-and-mortar funding necessary to build and manage public housing. Better to let private companies (yes, like mine) build them and pass the subsidy on to them. The thing is, though, that public housing serves a vital need. There aren’t enough companies like mine, willing to invest private dollars into low-income housing, even if it turns them a profit. There aren’t enough private landlords out there to take (or willing to take — there’s a fair amount of discrimination against voucher holders by landlords) vouchers for every low-income renter. But the government hates public housing, because it costs precious dollars that they could be spending on fucking fighter jets or bunker bombs or corporate bailouts.

So let’s bring this all back together. The GOP war on housing has been going on for decades. This time, it’s just that they’re firing higher caliber bullets. They’ve got the House, the Senate, and the presidency, so they’re coming after the programs they’ve always hated, and they’re doing it with venom. The housing programs that are under fire are going to suffer enormously, and it’s a program that is already under immense stress. Having managed public housing myself, I can tell you that it’s an often-impossible job, managing a building and the needs of your residents on the barest of funding. Managers of these buildings face terrible decisions daily — what can I fix now, what can I put off for next year in the hopes that we can afford it then and in the hopes that no one will get hurt. Cannibalizing parts out of broken appliances, faking their way through federal inspections, being forced to choose what potentially life-threatening problems we can maybe postpone fixing — these are all routine issues that happen because there’s no money. In the years before the Obama administration, the HUD budget for low-income housing was cut by 30%. That’s a staggering cut, and the idea that Trump is seriously considering cutting it further is terrifying.

Because there’s only one real goal to these cuts — to make the poor poorer. There is no other endgame. The developments will suffer, they’ll be forced to close down, driving the poor onto the streets in search of vouchers that won’t be there. The average Housing Authority waiting list right now is between three and five years. That’s three to five years before you might find safe, sustainable housing. Until then? Have fun sleeping at your friend’s house with your three kids, or in your car, or on the street. These are all stories I’ve heard. These are all people I’ve had to turn away because there just. isn’t. enough. help. And now we’re going to take even more of that help away. We’re going to overcrowd shelters, we’re going to flood cities with even more poverty. Which will affect schools (which are also probably going to lose funding). Which will drive up crime rates, drive up drug usage, drive down property values. Donald Trump once said «our inner cities are a disaster». That’s a goddamn lie. Our inner cities are places where, with the right care and money and attention, people could thrive and grow. Poor people could learn and break the cycle that’s been plaguing them for so many years. We could push money into better housing, better homes, better schools, better support systems.

But instead, we’re going to slash them to pieces. We’re going to increase drug usage so that we can increase incarceration rates. We’re going to decrease education, so we don’t know how to make the country better. This will adversely affect minorities, immigrants, poor families — all the groups that the GOP hates because they tend to vote against them. The story here isn’t Trump’s buildings or the buildings that will keep their funding — it’s the thousands of buildings and millions of people who will find themselves worse off than they’ve ever been. The story isn’t the story of Carson and Patton, two unqualified idiots suddenly charged with running a vast and vital bureaucracy — it’s the life-endangering decisions that such incompetence and cronyism will lead to. Our inner cities aren’t a disaster, but they sure as hell will be if we stay the course. We’re going to tear out the roots of the tree and watch as it falls, clucking tongues and wringing hands, blaming the poor for being poor and not pulling themselves up, while we shove our hands in our pockets when they reach out for help.

Pajiba

The Book and Exhibit Unmasking Margiela This Summer

One of fashion’s most elusive personalities, the J.D. Salinger–esque Martin Margiela, will be under the magnifying glass in the designer’s native Belgium through the end of August. The retrospective at Antwerp’s MoMu Museum will chronicle his shockingly unexpected tenure at Hermès, where he designed women’s ready-to-wear from 1997 to 2003. In an accompanying book, Margiela: The Hermès Years, a slew of insiders—rare souls who worked closely with Margiela during this formative period in fashion—reflect on the lasting impact of the minimalist, elegant work he produced for Hermès in the midst of the brand logos onslaught that defined the late ’90s and early aughts.

Margiela: The Hermès Years

The exhibit, curated by MoMu’s Kaat Debo, places Margiela’s Hermès pieces alongside garments from his more over-the-top namesake brand, Maison Martin Margiela. “I feel that there’s certainly a dialogue between these two worlds that at first seem very different—the world of luxury fashion and the world of avant-garde fashion,” Debo says. “But it’s really two different translations of one creative DNA.” And Debo actually solicited input from Margiela himself while working on the project. “Fashion designers I’ve worked with over the years have, in my opinion, been very visual,” she says. “Many don’t like trying to analyze their work in language, but Martin is very sensitive to words and how things are explained. . . .  It was our task to add his work to fashion history.”

Portrait: Marina Faust. All Other images: Courtesy

The post The Book and Exhibit Unmasking Margiela This Summer appeared first on DuJour.

DuJour

After Allegations of Misconduct, What on Earth Will This Season of Bachelor in Paradise Look Like?

For the first time ever, ABC’s Bachelor spinoff Bachelor in Paradise is getting people to take it seriously. To the show’s discredit, this was accomplished through dark and unethical circumstances when two contestants’ alcohol-infused sexual encounter (not a first for BiP) lead to an internal investigation and bigger…

Read more…


Jezebel

Give Your Old Workout Gear a Break With This Under Armour Sale

What better way to get ready for the better weather than discounted Under Armour Outlet gear? Take an extra 25% off practically every style you can think of, no code needed. From the classic Under Armour long-sleeves to training shoes to their Threadborne microthread technology, this gear is perfect for running…

Read more…


Jezebel

I’m Inspired By This Mom Taunting Her Daughter With Shirtless Dude Pics

My mom is wildly gregarious and talks easily to strangers. As an adult, that still occasionally makes me uncomfortable, but as a teenager it made me cringe into a cramped ball and roll away. It is only now, with the remove of this college student’s tweet, that I can truly appreciate the value of moms who make friends…

Read more…


Jezebel

Bruno Mars Looks Like a Mini Elvis Presley in This Adorable Throwback Photo


A post shared by Bruno Mars (@brunomars) on

Bruno Mars knows how to turn up charm in his music, but his effortless swagger was evident even as a kid. The «Uptown Funk» singer recently uploaded a Throwback Thursday photo on Instagram one day ahead of schedule, because who needs to follow the rules when you were this adorable growing up? «When you’re too impatient for Throwback Thursday so you fully embrace Way Back Wednesday. #1989,» Bruno captioned the black and white picture of himself.

Young Bruno’s head full of hair and confident swagger are eerily reminiscent of the late Elvis Presley, whom he also had the chance to impersonate in the 1992 film Honeymoon in Vegas. It’s safe to say the R&B crooner was destined to steal hearts around the world when he grew up!

POPSUGAR Celebrity

Kate Beckinsale Was Papped Kissing This 21-Year-Old Comedian 

katebeckinsalemattrife2017

According to Entertainment Tonight, 43-year-old Kate is dating 21-year-old actor and Wild ‘N Out comedian Matt Rife. I’m getting “Cillian Murphy’s second cousin doing his best Ryan Phillippe in 54 impersonation” from Matt. Kate and Matt were seen kissing outside of a lounge in West Hollywood last night. A source claims she met Matt through a mutual friend, and they’re “officially boyfriend and girlfriend” and that her entire family thinks he’s the nicest person.

Earlier this month, Kate was rumored to have been seen”flirting” with Jon Hamm at an event for the movie Baby Driver. Going from midlife daddy Jon Hamm to a youngin who looks like he thinks being called a fuckboi is a compliment. Kate is really spanning the whole spectrum.

ET’s source adds that Matt is a great guy and “very mature for his age.” How much more mature are we talking here? Does he seem more like he’s 24? 26? 39-year-old trapped in the body of a 21-year-old? Still, it’s got to be weird for Kate’s 18-year-old daughter Lily Mo Sheen. It’s one thing to have to explain what fidget spinners and Riverdale is to your mom, but it’s a completely different level of awkward to hear her boyfriend volunteer to do it.

Pic: Wenn.com

Dlisted

Does This Look Like A Guy Who Would Whip Out His Dong To Show A Lifeguard?

It’s pool season in New York! That means you get creepers like Wilson Kenney flopping out his dong (allegedly) for a lifeguard to take a look at. Add in the balding mugshot and you have a viral sensation. Here’s the thing I find incredibly mindblowing: Wilson Kenney doesn’t seem to have a social media trail.

Something is not right here. It’s almost impossible for someone like Wilson Kenney to not have a social trail. And by now there would be pics out there.

From the NY Post:

Wilson Kenney, 33, of Springfield Gardens was sitting on a bench at the Forest City Park Pool facility in Wantagh on Sunday around 4:50 p.m. when he began to rub his groin area and exposed himself to the 17-year-old lifeguard, cops said.

Is he living as a woman, wearing a wig and suddenly felt the urge to flop it out? My god I have so many questions here.

Someone out there knows the real Wilson Kenney. What’s going on with this guy? Why hasn’t he just shaved the head? Let us know.

mail@bustedcoverage.com


Sports Gossip, Sexy WAGs, NFL and Hot Cheerleaders: BustedCoverage

Buy This Florida Gators Chevy Pickup Truck — $8,500

via Craigslist

How do you steal the show at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium next season? Easy. You throw down $ 8,500 on the one-of-a-kind Florida Gators Chevy C/K 1500 pickup truck above and allow the party to come right to you.

via Craigslist

There’s no way something this unique should be on the open market, but according to the current owner, he can’t make it out to games because of “business obligations”. His loss, your gain.

Details from the Craigslist ad:

Unique, completely customized 1991 Chevrolet CK1500 pick-up truck. For the Florida Gators fan! AIR BRUSH paint job, NOT a wrap. Vinyl lettering/logo. Every detailed hand painted – under the hood, door panels and even inside on dash. ‘Gator’ interior/logos. Full size, life-like gator on the bed cover. Sprayed inside the bed. New crate 350 V8 engine with only about 5,500 miles. 24″ Asanti rims with a low profile tire. Kenwood stereo/navigation system. Runs great. Very clean condition.

Florida went 9-4 last season with an Outback Bowl victory over Iowa. Sporting News has them ranked 15th in the preseason college rankings they released this month.

[Craigslist]

via Craigslist


Sports Gossip, Sexy WAGs, NFL and Hot Cheerleaders: BustedCoverage

Buy This Minnesota Vikings Tailgate Bus — $3,000

via Craigslist

The NFL tailgate market is surprisingly quiet considering we’re just two months away from preseason action. However! If you’re a fan of the Vikings, there are some options out there for you: the “Dr. Feelgood” ambulance we posted last week ($ 5.5K), and the old “Purple Pride” bus above ($ 3K).

Need some motivation to pull the trigger? Well, The Star Tribune noted on Monday that Teddy Bridgewater could get cleared to return at some point during the season, which is fantastic news after he suffered a horrific knee injury last summer.

via Craigslist

Scant details from the Craigslist ad:

1997 ford v10
Vikings bus
*new transmission*
High miles
Bring this beast to your tailgate at the new stadium!

[Craigslist]

via Craigslist

via Craigslist


Sports Gossip, Sexy WAGs, NFL and Hot Cheerleaders: BustedCoverage

1 2 3 102