Programs to benefit the rich rather than the poor
corporations - big fish
corporations buying houses
Sec 8 exacerbates wealth gap
The rental assistance programs provide much-needed benefits to low-income families. For example, the average household that receives tenant-based assistance pays $395 per month toward a total rent of $1,278. However, that assistance does not necessarily solve housing-related difficulties. The total income for those families is about $1,300 per month, on average, which leaves them with just $905 for all other expenses each month. Moreover, those households spent an average of over two years on a waiting list (much higher in places like New York) before receiving any benefits and often live in a housing unit with no bedrooms or one bedroom.
The four largest rental assistance programs help to ensure that millions of households can afford adequate housing rather than face homelessness due to paying rent that exceeds their income. The ERA alone made a total of 3.8 million payments to eligible households in 2021 with over 80 percent of its assistance delivered to very low-income households earning 50 percent of area median income or below.
Funding for housing nearly doubled in response to the pandemic to reach an all-time high of $90 billion. Still, this represents a relatively small part of the annual budget and serves some of the most economically vulnerable Americans. Unlike other parts of the safety net, funding for these major housing programs is not set in permanent law and is therefore subject to the annual appropriation process. That fact requires lawmakers to make a continual commitment and annual judgement about the appropriate level of funding by weighing the merits of the programs against other budgetary priorities, as well as our growing national debt.
Though rental assistance is of great benefit to those low income families in need of housing, at best it is a very short-term solution and at worst it exacerbates the wealth gap between Blacks and Whites. White home ownership is more than double that of Blacks and is likely to be even greater when it comes to rental properties. As such, though well-meaning, the Sec. 8 also known as the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program, works to put money into the hands of White property owners while giving only a temporary place to stay to those in the program. Hence, the government again via one of its outwardly well-meaning programs serves to enrich Whites.
What is needed is a modification of government rental assistance programs that will allow the recipient to own a home rather than be indefinite renters. The sense of being a home owner would inspire those who are receiving government rental assistance to improve themselves. In short order they would acquire skill in planning and devising for themselves and their children. This will also inspire them and their children to develop habits of industry and economy. This would also serve the purpose of making these recipients feel that they are not slaves to a system, but now may regain to a great degree their lost self-respect and moral independence.
San Francisco is slightly smaller than Jacksonville, Florida. Yet San Francisco’s homelessness budget—$1.1 billion in fiscal year 2021–22—is nearly 80 percent of Jacksonville’s entire city budget. But despite this enormous spending, homelessness and the attendant problems of drug abuse, crime, public health issues, and an overall deterioration in the quality of life, spiral further downwards each year.
Spending $1.1 billion on homelessness is just the latest installment in San Francisco’s constant failure to sensibly and humanely deal with an issue that it chronically misdiagnoses and mismanages about as much as is humanly possible. Since fiscal year 2016–17, San Francisco has spent over $2.8 billion on homelessness, and the city’s politicians remain seemingly baffled, year after year, as the number of homeless in the city skyrocket, as opioid overdoses kill more than COVID-19, and as the city has become nearly the most dangerous in the country. https://www.hoover.org/research/why-san-francisco-nearly-most-crime-ridden-city-us.
Since 2016, the number of homeless in San Francisco has increased from 12,249 to 19,086, which comes out to about $57,000 in spending per homeless person per year. With a total population of about 860,000, roughly 2.2 percent of San Francisco residents are homeless, which is over 12 times the national average. There is little doubt that as San Francisco spends more, homelessness and its impact on the city worsens.
Most minority groups, especially African Americans and Indigenous people, experience homelessness at higher rates than Whites, largely due to long-standing historical and structural racism.
The most striking disparity can be found among African Americans, who represent 13 percent of the general population but account for 39 percent of people experiencing homelessness and more than 50 percent of homeless families with children. This imbalance has not improved over time.
What Are the Causes?
From slavery to segregation, African Americans have been systemically denied rights and socioeconomic opportunities. Other minority groups, including Indigenous and Latinx people, share similar histories. The disproportionality in homelessness is a by-product of systemic inequity: the lingering effects of racism continue to perpetuate disparities in critical areas that impact rates of homelessness.
Poverty, and particularly deep poverty, is a strong predictor of homelessness. Black and Latinx groups are overrepresented in poverty relative to their representation in the overall population, and are most likely to live in deep poverty, with rates of 10.8% and 7.6% percent, respectively. 
Segregation/Rental Housing Discrimination
Redlining – systemic housing discrimination supported by the federal government decades ago – is a root cause of the current wealth gap between White households and households of color. Redlining discouraged economic investment, such as mortgage and business loans, in Black and Brown neighborhoods.
The effects are still with us today: African Americans still live disproportionately in concentrated poverty or in neighborhoods where they are regularly exposed to environmental toxins, and have limited access to quality care, services, nutritious food and economic opportunities. People that become homeless are likely to have lived in these types of neighborhoods.
For most minority groups, the transition to neighborhoods with less crime, no environmental hazards, and close proximity to services, are often met with challenges. A study by the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) on racial discrimination found that people of color were often shown fewer rental units and denied more leases in comparison to White people. White people, on the other hand, were frequently offered lower rents. Deposits and other move-in costs were also quoted as “negotiable,” making it easier for White people to secure units.
The racial disparity in incarceration rates has continuously worsened. The rate for African Americans has tripled between 1968 and 2016 and is more than six times the rate of White incarceration. These racial disparities are no accident. Black and Brown people are at far greater risk of being targeted, profiled and arrested for minor offenses, especially in high poverty areas.
The implications of overcriminalization are far-reaching: A criminal history can keep people from successfully passing background checks to secure both housing and employment. People exiting jails and prisons often face significant problems in accessing safe and affordable housing and their rate of homelessness is high.