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Section 8 evokes little sympathy

June 23, 2007

Re "A not-so-welcome mat," June 17

The principles of the federal Section 8 program should be to provide short-term housing to the needy. The current system is abusive when the government subsidizes two-thirds of $1,800 to place individuals in neighborhoods supported by taxpaying, middle-class neighbors who can barely make ends meet. Many Section 8 recipients also receive other social assistance, thus making a mockery of middle-class taxpayers.

There should be a time limit and requirements that recipients complete financial counseling.

ED SKEBE

Manhattan Beach

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Lancaster pastor and Mayor Henry Hearns, who took action to see that a family got evicted because he didn't approve of their use of a trashcan or their subsequent response to his complaints, should be ashamed of himself. To cause a family to lose their home over a minor dispute over a trashcan, no matter how rude their response, is shameful and hardly the kind of behavior that he should be exhibiting to his city and congregation. In the now oft-used slogan, what would Jesus do? Would Jesus have caused a family to lose their home over a petty dispute?

The mayor should consider these words in his future actions toward his fellow residents.

AARON MISCHLER

Los Angeles

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While I don't condone intimidating Section 8 residents into warrantless searches, it's hard for me to have sympathy for people getting their rent subsidized by taxpayers like myself who can barely afford our own rent payments. Where is the incentive, more than 30 years after the Watts riots, for otherwise healthy poor people from South Central to break the cycle and pay their own way like the rest of us?

PAUL SPENCER

Los Angeles

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Oh, the irony! I support the idea of the government assisting people to move up the social and economic ladder. But with the case studies presented in your article, the Section 8 recipients simply did not have any intention of upholding their side of the agreement. Rather, the very same problems that they claimed to have wanted to escape (drug use, violence, robbery, etc.), they brought with them to an area typically free of those problems.

The ignorance of some Section 8 recipients is astounding. They argue that they were reported to authorities not because community activists were afraid for the safety of their families and property but because they were racist.

JAMIE TACK

Culver City

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The article about unauthorized or illegal behavior in federally subsidized housing fell short when absolutely no reference was made to the owners' responsibility to properly screen and rent to decent tenants. Why should it be up to the Housing Authority to take care of the owners' mess? Perhaps it would change if the owner lost the right to have Section 8 tenants after the tenants he or she had were found to be involved in unauthorized or illegal behavior.

DOUG MCGOON

Claremont

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